Final $172 million approved for PortMiami tunnel construction

PortMiami tunnel 41 days away from opening

MIAMI – Miami-Dade County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve the final $172 million of its dedicated $1 billion for the construction of a port tunnel in Miami.

Chris Hodgkins, vice president of the construction company in charge of the project, told Local 10 the tunnel that will connect Watson Island to PortMiami is 41 days away from opening.

Hodgkins said cargo trucks and cruise ship traffic will be using the tunnel by the end of May.

The tunnel beneath Government Cut is intended to reroute cargo trucks that currently clog downtown Miami on the way to and from the port.

It is seen as a critical component of downtown and PortMiami's development as the county's No. 2 economic engine prepares to welcome the super Panamax ships through a widened Panama Canal.

"We're going to be the only port in the United States that goes from an interstate right to the port without even a traffic light," Hodgkins said.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."