PortMiami's Billion Dollar Tunnel Opens

Four years in the making and decades in planning have finally led to Monday's opening ceremony for the PortMiami tunnel

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    NEWSLETTERS

    To great fanfare and political attention, Miami's billion dollar port tunnel held a grand opening on Monday. NBC 6's Hank Tester takes a look at what happened during the festivities.

    Four years in the making and decades in planning have finally led to Monday's opening ceremony for the PortMiami tunnel.

    Gov. Rick Scott joined local and state officials at the opening ceremony Monday morning for one of South Florida's most expensive transportation projects ever.

    "I think it shows the public-private partnership works," Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said at Monday's ceremony. "And it has to be looked at as the model for the future for governments to do major projects. So hopefully more governments will come in and try to seek the public-private partnerships."

    Opening Ceremony for New PortMiami Tunnel

    [MI] Opening Ceremony for New PortMiami Tunnel
    Four years in the making and decades in planning have finally led to Monday's opening ceremony for the PortMiami tunnel. Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado discusses the tunnel.

    The $1 billion project promises to ease downtown congestion by sending big cargo trucks and cruise travelers under Biscayne Bay to reach the Port.

    The massive tunnel between Watson and Dodge Islands will help expressway traffic get to the Port without hitting a stop sign. Before the tunnel was built, the only way to the Port was through Port Boulevard, which caused heavy traffic and congestion.

    Opening Ceremony for PortMiami Tunnel

    [MI] Opening Ceremony for PortMiami Tunnel
    Four years in the making and decades in planning have finally led to Monday's opening ceremony for the PortMiami tunnel.

    While Monday was the grand opening, drivers will have to wait a couple of more weeks to take the tunnel. It will open for public traffic near the end of the month.

    The celebration Monday wasn't just about the politicians. It was also about the thousands of jobs that were created and the impact those workers leave on the community.

    "All the panels you see on the walls; I did that. I am proud of that," said Dan Pierce.

    "I have my signature welded inside the tunnel," said V.J. Bouda. "I know where it is. It is there and I can tell my kids and they can find it.

    PortMiami is one of the country's busiest ports and is second only to Miami International Airport as an economic generator in South Florida.