U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined Florida state and local officials yesterday for the grand opening of the Port of Miami Tunnel, which will provide a dedicated route to one of the region's largest economic generators. This direct access to the port of Miami will relieve congestion and improve safety in downtown Miami by taking freight and cruise traffic off local streets. The $912 million project used $221 million in federal-aid funding and a $341 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan from the U.S. DOT.
"Investing in transportation projects like the Port of Miami Tunnel is good news not only for Miami, but for the entire country thanks to the businesses supported by its port," said Foxx. "We need Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill so we can continue to invest in more projects that will help generate economic growth, relieve congestion and improve safety."
The Port of Miami is the region's second-largest economic generator after the airport. It is one of the nation's largest container ports and is home to 13 cruise lines. Nearly 16,000 vehicles travel to and from the port of Miami through downtown streets each weekday, including nearly 5,000 trucks.
The new tunnel will link I-395 and the MacArthur Causeway (S.R. A1A) with the Port, providing trucks, cruise-line buses and other port-related traffic an alternative to the congested Port Boulevard in the central business district. The project created a wider MacArthur Causeway Bridge and built direct tunnel connections between Watson Island and Dodge Island at the port.
The project was built through a public-private partnership that includes an agreement between the Florida Department of Transportation and a private concessionaire for maintenance and operations.