The port of Miami is getting more than a face-lift, it is re-engineering its systems for tourism, business, transportation and trade. Port development is comprised of initiatives termed “large capital projects.” The colossal undertaking is a collaborative effort between federal, state and private-sector contractors. The projects are estimated to increase revenue from $18 billion to $27 billion adding 146,000 jobs.
PortMiami Deep Dredge Project
Miami’s port channel is the number one cruise destination in the world and 11th busiest cargo port in North America. To compete at a higher level the city has embarked on he Deep Dredge project. After obtaining authorization from Congress and eliciting management from the Army Corps of Engineers work has begun to deepen the port canal from 42 ft to 50 ft. The modified channel will accommodate super carrier cargo ships expected to deliver goods via the Panama Canal after the canal’s expansion in 2015. The Deep Dredge project will also accommodate large cruise liners estimated to boost tourism from 4.7 million to 5.9 million annually. The dredge project is scheduled for completion in 2015.
Miami tunnel project
In June 2011 a 457 ft Tunnel Boring Machine began mining eastward toward PortMiami. The goal is to construct a 3,900 ft long tunnel 120 ft below Biscayne bay with a price tag of $1 billion. Designed with two side-by-side tubes and four lanes, the tunnel will give cargo vehicles direct access to port facilities. It is the only tunnel in the world that will usher traffic from port to highway without traffic signals. The tunnel project will also widen the MacArthur causeway by one lane in each direction. The tunnel & highway construction is scheduled for completion in 2014.
The Miami port FEC (Florida East Coast) Railway built in the 1800s will be refurbished and reintroduced in 2015. The $50 million rail system is expected to distribute goods originating from Latin America and Asia to north Florida and eventually 70 percent of the U.S., in less than four days (via CSX and Norfolk Southern railroad). The rail system is anticipated to have an impact on greenhouse emissions by eliminating 400,000 annual truck trips.
Crane and terminal renovations
The Miami board of community commissioners and mayor’s office created a 25 year plan to upgrade the port facility from 13 cranes to 25 cranes more than 25 years. The upgrades will begin with installation of 4 super cranes to accommodate the super carrier cargo ships traversing the Panama canal. Port developers have already spent $20 million to improve cruise terminals to accommodate large cruise ships.
The Miami region is investing in infrastructure that is slated to impact the local and national economy. The management and coordination of these industrial endeavors is nothing short of logistical and engineering genius.