Commissioner Moss welcomes guests to speak on tunnel and museum park

Pictured (l-r) are Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis C. Moss; Gillian Thomas, president/CEO of Miami Science Museum; Jose Garcia, government relations director, Miami Art Museum; Juan De Pazos, City of Miami; Christopher Hodgkins, vice president of Miami Access Tunnel Concessionaire LLC; Christina Casado, community image manager, Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, and Denise Pojomovsky, public information manager, Miami Access Tunnel Concessionaire LLC.

Miami – Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss welcomed representatives from the Miami Access Tunnel Project and the Miami Museum Park Project as guest speakers for the March roundtable meeting on Wednesday, Mar. 7, at the South Dade Government Center, 10710 SW 211 St. in Cutler Bay.

Christopher Hodgkins, vice president, Miami Access Tunnel Project Concessionaire LLC, made a power point presentation with a brief update on the progress of the Port of Miami Tunnel (POMT) project.

He shared that the Port Miami Access Tunnel’s employment outreach efforts “Operation 305” has resulted in reaching out to over 72 entities through job fairs and community forums. As a result they welcomed over 5,000 job applicants. To date they have hired 430 men and women and 83 percent of those hired were from Miami-Dade.

The POMT project currently is being built by MAT Concessionaire LLC in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. By connecting MacArthur Causeway to Dodge Island, the project will provide direct access between the seaport and highways I-395 and I-95, create another entry to the Port Miami besides the Port Bridge, and keep Port Miami, the community’s second largest economic generator, competitive. The POMT will improve traffic flow in downtown Miami by reducing the number of cargo trucks and cruise-related vehicles on congested downtown streets, and will aid ongoing and future development in and around downtown Miami. The project is scheduled to be completed in May 2014.

Gillian Thomas, president/CEO of the Miami Science Museum, and Jose Garcia, director of government relations of the Miami Art Museum, both shared with Commissioner Moss’ roundtable guests a Power Point presentation and an overview of the Miami Museum Park project.

The new Miami Art Museum will be one of the anchors for the 29-acre Museum Park overlooking Biscayne Bay and will include public gardens and sculpture installations. Museum Park is Miami’s urban redesign vision for the area now known as Bicentennial Park. This vital downtown park, a catalyst for the transformation of the district, is central to efforts to strengthen greater Miami’s momentum as an emerging global capital. A vibrant mix of green space and cultural offerings, in addition to the landmark new facilities will continue to move us toward this goal.

The other park anchor was designed by internationally recognized Grimshaw Architects. The 250,000-square-foot Miami Science Museum will be among the world’s most innovative and sustainable science museums.

According to Grimshaw, which received the AIA National Honor Award for its design of the Horno: Museo del Acero in Monterrey, Mexico, the museum is intended to act as a demonstration of ecological and sustainability principles. The building will harness energy from water, sun, wind and even museum visitors to power exhibits and conserve resources.

The museum is structured around a lushly landscaped indoor and outdoor “living core” of terrestrial and aquatic spaces, featuring a 600,000-gallon aquarium facility, a full dome 3-D planetarium, interactive exhibits, innovative technology and two additional wings of exhibition space, a learning center and cafes. The Miami Museum Park project is scheduled to be completed in 2014 and plans to open in 2015.

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