Four years in the making and decades in planning have finally led to the Monday, May 19, opening ceremony for the PortMiami tunnel. Governor Rick Scott joined local and state officials at the opening ceremony for one of South Florida’s most talked about transportation projects ever. When it opens some 16,000 vehicles may travel daily to and from the port, under concrete entrances.
PortMiami is second only to Miami International Airport as the most powerful economic generator in South Florida. The Port’s economic viability is extremely important to the citizens of Miami-Dade County and needed to continue expanding its capacity.
Prior to the tunnel being built, the only way into the Port was through Port Boulevard. That caused heavy truck traffic, cruise line buses and private cars to congest the narrow Central Business District, preventing downtown Miami from reaching its full potential. The Tunnel Project consisted of three components:
• Twin tunnels under Government Cut
• Connections to PortMiami’s roadway system
• MacArthur Causeway Bridge widening, realignment of eastbound State Road
A1A/MacArthur Causeway lanes and reconstruction of Parrot Jungle Trail frontage road The PortMiami Tunnel will improve access to and from the Port, serving as a dedicated roadway connector linking the Port with the MacArthur Causeway (State Road A1A) and I-395.
The Port is located on Dodge Island, a 518-acre island in Biscayne Bay and connected to the city of Miami solely by the Port Boulevard Bridge.
All traffic currently enters and exits the island on the existing bridge. Both cruise terminals and cargo handling facilities are located on the island. Cruise and administration facilities are mostly located on the northwest quadrant of the Port, while Royal Caribbean offices and Cruise Terminal J are at the southwest corner. Container yards and space for ships to maneuver and park comprise the remainder of the island.
Entering the Port, cargo and cruise traffic are routed onto separate roadways from a point just east of Port Boulevard Bridge. An existing bridge for outbound cargo traffic provides a grade separation with the inbound cruise roadway.
The PortMiami Tunnel will open later this summer.