[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t has been a month since the official opening of the PortMiami Tunnel and already the project has proven to be a success. Vehicular traffic is flowing smoothly through downtown Miami, pedestrians are safer, and container trucks and cruise passenger traffic are reaching final destinations faster.
“The PortMiami Tunnel is an example of a strategic, public-private investment that enhances the competitiveness of the port by expediting the flow of both container and cruise related traffic into and out of the port while alleviating traffic in the downtown urban core,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.
“The benefits that the tunnel has brought to our community and downtown Miami are numerous, and I am very pleased to see such success in its first month of operations.”
The PortMiami Tunnel, which opened to vehicles on Aug. 3, was a project decades in the making. Every day, the tunnel removes thousands of vehicles from Miami’s downtown streets as it carries cargo and non-cargo traffic on a toll-free route direct to the port, bypassing downtown and without crossing a single traffic signal. “The Port Tunnel project is the culmination of an effort that took many years and partners to complete,” said Juan M. Kuryla, PortMiami director.
“The new direct access to the interstate highway system boosts PortMiami’s competitive advantage, while eliminating traffic congestion off downtown Miami streets. It’s a win,” he added.
“The first month of operations at the PortMiami Tunnel has exceeded the expectations of many,” said Chris Hodgkins, CEO of MAT Concessionaire, the consortium that oversaw tunnel construction and is overseeing operations. “Cargo traffic is steadily increasing, scheduled maintenance is being completed on time and without incident, and Miami appears to be learning the new lane configurations on I-395.”
PortMiami partners also have noticed an improvement in traffic throughout downtown Miami and at the seaport.
“The PortMiami Tunnel is a remarkable feat and one our community should be proud of,” said Richard D. Fain, chair and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “It upgrades the experience for our commuting employees and our guests as they come to PortMiami — The Cruise Capital of the World.”
Jorge Mora, CEO, Owner South, said, “The PortMiami Tunnel has provided two very key benefits to the trucking industry. One being safety and the other quicker access in and out of the port.
“We are very excited about this project as this is a major step in preparing for the bigger ships,” he added.
“We have already noticed a significant improvement in traffic flow through Downtown Miami,” said Alyce Robertson, executive director of the Miami Downtown Development Authority. “The tunnel is delivering as promised.”
The PortMiami Tunnel is a public-private partnership overseen by Florida’s Department of Transportation in partnership with Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. Bouygues Civilworks Florida handled the project’s construction.
For more information about the PortMiami Tunnel visit <www.portofmiamitunnel. com>. PortMiami is among America’s busiest ports and recognized across the globe with the dual distinction of being the Cruise Capital of the World and the Cargo Gateway of the Americas.
PortMiami contributes more than $27 billion annually to the South Florida economy and helps provide direct and indirect employment for more than 207,000.
For more information, visit online at www.miamidade.gov/portmiami.