The PortMiami Tunnel is finally officially open to traffic.
After 62 months of Design, Construction, Integration, Testing, and Commissioning, the PortMiami Tunnel opened to traffic on Sunday, August 3rd, at 11:17am. Its opening signifies a major milestone for Miami and the beginning of a significant urban transformation in the downtown area.
Construction on the tunnel began May 24, 2010, but the original concept was under discussion as far back as August 24, 1984 when it was part of the “Port of Miami Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP).” Since then, the PortMiami Tunnel has seen its fair share of challenges (political, financial and environmental), set-backs, and triumphs.
Some of my favorite highlights include:
- Naming the Tunnel Boring Machine “Harriet”
- the Miami Herald’s “naming contest” for the tunnel. Among the entries: Port Belly Tunnel, the Mole Hole, Dolphin Pass, and Tequesta Tunnel.
- A quote from a May 9, 2014 Miami Herald article by Glenn Garvin. Talking about emergency systems within the tunnel, and that tunnel operators will have tow trucks located at each end of the tunnels 24 hours a day: “Miami being Miami, one of the trucks will actually be a flatbed vehicle onto which Lamborghinis, Jaguars and other low-slung luxury vehicles can be loaded. “You can’t just tow a Bentley,” [Chris Hodgkins, vice president of MAT Concessionaire LLC] noted deadpan.”
- This time-lapse video of the PortMiami Tunnel construction: