The Tunnel Boring Machine, also known as Harriet, completed one of two underground tubes beneath Biscayne Bay, linking port facilities with the mainland. Each tube will feature two lanes of traffic under the Government Cut, and once completed, the port expects 1.5 million trucks to travel the route annually.
"It is a milestone day for PortMiami," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, who spoke to the big crowd of workers and government officials who came out for the celebration of Harriet's Tuesday arrival on Dodge Island. "The tunnel is critical to PortMiami's future growth because it will allow port traffic to move more expeditiously to and from the interstate system, and will help reduce traffic downtown. This project has been an engineering feat of note."
After boring 4,000 feet under the waters of the bay, Harriet, which was given her nickname by the Miami-Dade County Girl Scouts, she must be dismantled and reassembled in order to bore the second tunnel back to Watson Island.
The PortMiami Tunnel project is a public-private partnership between Miami Access Tunnel, Florida DOT, Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. The tunnel should be ready for traffic by 2014.