Port of Miami tunnel will be a reality by 2015

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After years of delays, the $1 billion Port of Miami tunnel project got the official go-ahead today when city officials announced its financial closing. Now that the city of Miami has delivered a $50 million letter of credit for its share of the project, construction can finally begin. The next step is manufacturing a giant tunnel boring machine, to be built over the next 10 to 12 months. The machine, which will dig through soft limestone to 100 feet below the shipping channel where cruise ships typically dock, will also assemble panels of reinforced concrete to create the tunnel’s walls. The cost of the machine is estimated to be between $20 million and $50 million. Once complete, the tunnel should help defray downtown traffic from cargo trucks that currently have no direct route from the area expressways to the seaport. Construction is slated to last four to five years, with the tunnel opening to traffic by 2015. [Miami Herald]

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