Imagine a day when you can get to the airport by just hopping on a Metrorail train. No battling traffic. No expensive airport parking. No need to call a taxi.
That day is coming.
Next month, Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) will break ground on a 2.4-mile extension of Metrorail from the Earlington Heights station to the Miami Intermodal Center under construction next to Miami International Airport.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the MIC-Earlington Heights Connector is set for Friday, May 1 at 10 a.m. at the site of the future Miami Central Station at Northwest 25th Street and 38th Court. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, members of the Miami-Dade County Commission and a host of federal, state and local elected officials and dignitaries will take part in the ceremony. The public also is invited.
Coincidentally, the event will take place the same month Metrorail celebrates 25 years since the system's May 20, 1984 opening, and the groundbreaking will include a birthday celebration, complete with cake and refreshments.
"I can think of no better way to celebrate Metrorail's first quarter century than by starting construction on the next phase of the system," MDT Director Harpal Kapoor said. "The MIC-Earlington Heights Connector will serve as a cornerstone of Miami-Dade's development as a world-class community by providing a rapid transit connection to the airport for the millions of visitors, residents and workers who travel to and from MIA every year."
Expected to open in 2012, the Metrorail MIC Connector is the County's most significant construction project since the opening of the original Metrorail system, and it's a centerpiece of the People's Transportation Plan (PTP), which was approved by Miami-Dade voters in 2002. The bulk of the funding for the $526 million project will come from the PTP half-penny tax, with the Florida Department of Transportation contributing $100 million.
The Miami Intermodal Center, a Florida Department of Transportation project, will serve as the county's central transportation hub, linking all modes of ground transportation, including Metrorail, bus, Tri-Rail, Amtrak and a centralized rental car facility. Passengers will connect to the airport via a people mover linking the MIC to MIA.
Artist's rendering of the Miami Intermodal Center and Miami Central Station