Operation 305 to conduct expo for contractors and suppliers

By Matthew Beatty….
Operation 305, a new initiative to include local small businesses in the million-dollar Port of Miami Access Tunnel project, will kick off with the Contractor and Supplier Expo on Wednesday, Dec. 1, from 7:30 to 10 a.m., at the Port of Miami’s Terminal J.

Hosted by Miami Access Tunnel, LLC (MAT), a private concessionaire selected by the state to build and maintain the tunnel, the expo will educate contractors about exciting business opportunities with the project. Registration is $25 per person ($35 on day of event), includes a continental breakfast, and is open to all small and mid-size business owners and/or their representatives. A portion of the Expo’s proceeds will benefit Miami Children’s Museum.

Participants can pre-register online at TunnelOperation305.com; the deadline for pre-registration is Nov. 26.

“The tunnel is one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken by Miami-Dade County,” said Christopher Hodgkins, vice president of the MAT Team. “Hosting this expo is the first step in ensuring we boost the local economy and create jobs right in our own backyard.”

Port of Miami Access Tunnel is a public/private partnership including Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT); Miami-Dade County; City of Miami, and concessionaire Miami Access Tunnel, a private consortium including Paris-based equity partner Meridiam Infrastructure Fund and construction partner Bouygues Civil Works of Florida.

The Port of Miami is Miami-Dade County’s second leading economic generator and provides 81,800 jobs, $5 billion in wages and $12 billion in economic output, according to a 2006 study conducted by the Washington Economic Group.

Nearly 5,500 large trucks and buses travel to and from the Port of Miami through downtown streets each weekday. Existing truck and bus routes restrict the port’s ability to grow, drive up costs, present safety hazards, and limit redevelopment in the northern portion of Miami’s Central Business District.

“The finished tunnel will be a major step toward preparing our port for the future,” Hodgkins continued. “As the port prepares for growth, it is important increasing numbers of locally owned and operated firms join the more than 50 businesses already given contracts so we all see financial growth together.”

The Port of Miami Tunnel will provide direct connections between the seaport, I-395 and I-95, create an alternative to the port’s existing bridge, improve traffic safety in downtown Miami by removing cargo trucks from already congested streets, and facilitate ongoing and future development plans in and around downtown.

To register for the Contractor and Supplier Expo, or for more information on Operation 305, visit online at www.TunnelOperation305.com.

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