Drill inching closer to Port of Miami

Tunnel to go 120 ft underwater

Published On: Dec 08 2011 06:38:04 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 08 2011 06:46:51 PM EST
Port tunnel dredging
MIAMI -

Three weeks into Miami's billion dollar Port Tunnel construction, the Tunnel Boring Machine has inched 100 feet toward Government Cut and the Port of Miami.

"We are managing to contain the a ground very well and it is very stabilized," said Bernard Catalano, who runs the boring operation.

As of Thursday, the cylinder shape was easy to see. The tunnel will go 120 feet underwater to the Port of Miami.

Two more concrete rings were hydraulically sealed into place as the Tunnel Boring Machine cuts through rock, silt and limestone..

Christopher Hodgkins, the vice president of Miami Access Tunnel, said the only issues the crews have encountered were holes in the coral rock larger than expected.

"We add additional grouting in front of that machine," said Hodgkins. "So, it hits a hard surface as it drills."

The grouting operation is done by a drill rolled into the middle of Government Cut on rails.  The operation has to stop between Thursdays and Sundays when the cruise ships are in port.