‘Harriet’ tunnel-making machine at journey’s end

Miami's machine-bored tunnel
Miami's machine-bored tunnel

Construction workers emerged from the darkness, climbing over chunks of debris pushed by a giant $45 million boring machine Monday as it completed the final leg of forging a westbound tunnel to Watson Island in Miami, the Associated Press reported.

The machine, nicknamed Harriet, finished boring a $1 billion tunnel connecting the Port of Miami with nearby expressways. The tunnel won’t open to traffic for another year, the AP reported.

Harriet began the underground journey on Watson Island off downtown Miami in November 2011.

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It reached the port July 31. It was then taken apart, pointed in the other direction and put back together for a return trip in October heading back to downtown.

The excavation came to an end Monday morning on Watson Island. Hundreds of workers will now begin laying pavement for roads inside the tunnel, the AP said.

The project will give cargo trucks a direct route to the port from nearby expressways such as Interstate 95 and an alternative to congested downtown Miami. [AP]Emily Schmall