Port of Miami Tunnel Halfway Done

Boring machine "Harriet" breaks through on Dodge Island

By Hank Tester
|  Wednesday, Aug 1, 2012  |  Updated 12:29 AM EDT
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The huge $1 billion Miami Tunnel project hit a major milestone Tuesday. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Port of Miami Director Bill Johnson gave their take on what the completion of half of the new tunnel means.

The huge $1 billion Miami Tunnel project hit a major milestone Tuesday. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Port of Miami Director Bill Johnson gave their take on what the completion of half of the new tunnel means.

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Tunnel Machine

The 43-foot wide, four story cutting head of a tunnel boring machine was lowered into the hole that will be its Miami home for the next few years as it digs the Port of Miami Tunnel.

Drilling Expected to Start in Miami Port Tunnel Project

It has taken months to prepare for the drilling of the Miami Port Tunnel, but on Thursday the drilling is expected to begin.
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The huge $1 billion Miami Tunnel project hit a milestone Tuesday when the boring machine nicknamed "Harriet" broke through on Dodge Island, completing half of the tunnel.

The two-way traffic tunnel will link Watson Island with the Port of Miami and the project's goal is to link Interstate 395/State Road 836 with the Port of Miami.

Port of Miami Tunnel Drilling Begins

The increase in traffic will mean an increase in port capacity. Cargo trucks which now travel through downtown Miami will be routed across the MacArthur Causeway into the tunnel, under Government Cut and up onto the Port. 

"Every time we add capacity to this port and it is utilized that means more jobs," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Tuesday.

Confetti shrouded the big rig, signifying that the first phase of boring was complete. The machine will be turned around, and another parallel tunnel will be completed by 2014.

Promoters of the project, which began May 24, 2010, say the tunnel will make the port more competitive and enable it to accommodate the huge loads expected when supersized cargo ships are able to navigate the widened Panama Canal.

The tunnel project, and companion projects which included dredging the Government Cut and the upgrade of the existing railway spur to the port, will greatly enhance the flow of cargo in and out of Miami.

Thousands have worked on the tunnel project.

"Your family, your cousins, your sister, your brother. Thousands locally-employed people on the project," Port of Miami Director Bill Johnson said. "That's putting America back to work."

Crews Work on Port of Miami Tunnel Project

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