After years of work, the PortMiami tunnel had its dedication today at 10am that was attended by Gov. Rick Scott, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and U.S. of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. The $1 billion dollar project was one of the most expensive transportation projects in South Florida history.
A 6,000 ton boring machine nicknamed "Harriet" began the mile long tunneling process in November 2011 towards the Port of Miami. It turned around and headed back to Watson Island where it popped out in May 2013.
The deepest part of the tunnel is 120 feet under sea level. Both entrances and exits have a 50 ton floodgate that will close in case of a hurricane or heavy flooding. The entrance portals were designed by Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica.
The many cargo trucks that will use the tunnel will not have to pay a toll and private vehicles are expected to be able to use the tunnel as well. 16,000 trucks and cars will use the tunnel daily and will help alleviate the traffic through Downtown Miami.
Hundreds of workers began the laborious task of putting together the finishing touches on the tunnel over the final few months. The construction workers got to walk out of the tunnel before the dedication.
75 workers will stay on full time to maintain and operate the tunnel.