Thursday November 3, 2005

Port of Miami tunnel

The problem: Trucks coming from the Port of Miami need to drive through downtown to get to I-395, causing traffic congestion and problems regular drivers.

The solution: A $3.1 billion (we were tempted to round off the .1, until we realized it represents 100 million dollars) tunnel to connect the port directly to 395, bypassing surface streets.

The scoop: Actually, it’s not exactly like that. As this video [35meg .avi] explains, the tunnel actually connects the port to Watson Island (beautifully shown with all planned improvements in place), from where the bridge (widened by a lane in each direction) takes you to 395. The image above is from the video; the image is the tunnel openings, with Parrot Jungle on the left, the MacArthur causeway in the distance, and said development on the right.

We got exited when we saw this article, which says the tunnel may soon be a reality. But then we noticed this other article (same publication), from 2002, which also says the tunnel may soon be a reality. Turns out the tunnel has been “about to happen” since the 80’s. Larry Lebowitz pointed out that the construction in downtown is really going to make this a necessity (although . . . um, did the budget double since his column came out in July?), although Mr. Tunnel remains skeptical. On the other hand, FDOT seems very optimistic: they have a whole web site devoted to the project, including some very detailed plans.

Does democracy suck, or what? In China, they’d have built a dozen tunnels by now, while here in Miami, supposed crossroads of the world, hands are wrung over a single one (and only a mile long).

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  1. CamiloSan    Thu Nov 3, 12:35 PM #  

    Ya but in China, they wouldn’t have any quams running over citizens with construction vehicles if they dare protest.

    Looking at the presentation, it seems a costly venture. The only tunnel in South Florida I know of is the itty-bitty one underneath the Fort Lauderdale River just off Las Olas. This one will be 20 times longer at least.

    Would it be safe to guess the actual cost would be FLLBridge*20*inflation? I don’t know if one could extrapolate in such a linear fashion.

    What is real is that congestion is a bitch in that area (a fact I used to my advantage ditching non-motorcycled cops eight years ago). This is one solution that would be unwise to trash unless an alternative proposed.

  2. The Python    Thu Nov 3, 06:41 PM #  

    I like the idea of a tunnel. Not sure why. Maybe it’s a Freudian thing?