Dig This: Port of Miami Tunnel Construction Begins - NBC 6 South Florida

Dig This: Port of Miami Tunnel Construction Begins

Controversial $1 billion project begins



    Dig This: Port of Miami Tunnel Construction Begins
    The Port of Miami

    After years of uncertainty as to whether it would ever get green lighted, the four-year construction of the $1 billion Port of Miami tunnel project is expected to begin Monday.

    Construction on the tunnel, which will connect downtown to the port, is expected to last until 2014.

    Proponents of the plan say the tunnel is necessary to give space to the large cargo trucks that travel between the two spots.

    The cargo trucks will roll off the 836 expressway continuing east on the MacArthur Causeway and descend into a tunnel bored under Watson Island and deeper beneath the Government Cut Channel and emerging in the middle of Dodge Island in the heart of the Port of Miami.  After dropping their containers, the rigs will return to the mainland through a companion northbound tunnel heading west on the causeway and on to the 836.

    The Florida Department of Transportation said Monday that the Causeway traffic won't be affected during the upcoming busy Memorial Day weekend, according to the Miami Herald.

    The project includes using a massive boring machine that will cut through the soil under the shipping channel and Watson Island. That phase won't begin until next year.

    Each of the tunnels will be 41 feet in diameter and will dip to 120 feet below sea level. 400 workers will be on the job at the peak of construction.