Media Contact:
Jennifer L. Messemer-Skold

''Dorsey'' Tunnel Boring Machine makes historic arrival at Fisher Island

MIAMI (February 25, 2016)

There’s no place like home. “Dorsey”- the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) - named after D.A. Dorsey, Miami’s first black millionaire who originally owned Fisher Island before selling it to Carl Fisher - just finished drilling 5,280 feet from Miami-Dade Water and Sewer’s Central District Waste Water Treatment Plant to Fisher Island. It was removed from the exit shaft Thursday, February 25.

The tunnel, which is 85 feet underwater took 10 months to complete, will now allow the installation of a 60-inch sewer line. The entire project’s completion is early this summer.

Descendants of D.A. Dorsey, including grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even two great-great grandchildren were in attendance and were happy to see that their family member’s legacy is still impacting residents in the community he served.

“My great-grandfather always looked for ways to improve the community,” said Horatio Major. “Naming the machine that is assisting in the improvement of sewer service after him – especially to the island he originally owned is special. It’s nice to know that his legacy is still being felt today.”

MAST Academy Junior Jordan Feldman was the student who after research found the historic tie and submitted the name Dorsey for the TBM naming contest. Students from Miami-Dade County’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) magnet schools were invited to participate in naming the TBM.
“Once I found the connection between Mr. Dorsey, Virginia Key and Fisher Island, I knew that the machine should be named after him,” said Feldman. “He did so many positive things for the community that he should be remembered for his contributions.”

Born to former slaves, D.A. Dorsey moved to Miami in the 1890s. He worked for Henry Flagler and his Florida East Coast Rail Road company, where he became interested in providing rental housing for black laborers. Despite only attaining a fourth-grade education, Dorsey was self-taught and developed expert skills for negotiating, buying, selling, and managing real estate.

It is the priority of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department to provide safe, reliable service to its customers. Visit the Water and Sewer website for additional information about services and programs.

Note to editors: Hi-resolution photos and captions available upon request.