Port Miami tunnel project reaches halfway point
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A big breakthrough Tuesday in the Port Miami tunnel construction project as crews announce they have reached the halfway point.
With that announcement, a new tunnel-digging machine emerged from underground, known as "Harriet." She is four stories high, a football field and a half in length and is helping with the project. "This was very exciting," said Maggie Fernandez of the Miami-Dade Office of Sustainability. "This is the first tunnel ever in Miami-Dade County, so this was truly a unique experience to be here."
Construction began May 2010 when "Harriet" was above ground, and now, in two to three months, she will move west to Watson Island. "We're actually going to put the machine on a Lazy Susan, turn it around and head back over to Watson Island to complete the job," said the vice-president of the Miami Access Tunnel, Christopher Hodgkins.
The tunnel will connect the MacArthur Causeway to Interstate 95 without a single stop light.
The project, which is on schedule, brought 6,000 jobs to the area, which one employee appreciates very much. "It's definitely needed, definitely right now because the recession, and it's just a different time when trying to get back up," said Anthony Daniels. "It definitely stimulated the economy, and it's still here to do more in the community."
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez spoke about the Port Miami tunnel project. "They are talking about our Port tunnel in China, and they are talking about our business in Brazil. When shippers around the world talk about moving products effectively, they are talking about our port," said Gimenez.
The Port Miami tunnel project is expected to be complete in May 2014.
(Copyright 2012 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)