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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

DOT 45-14
Monday, May 19, 2014
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Celebrates Grand Opening for Port of Miami Tunnel

Project will give freight trucks access to port from interstate and relieve Miami downtown congestion

MIAMI – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined Florida state and local officials today for the grand opening of the Port of Miami Tunnel, which will provide a dedicated route to one of the region's largest economic generators. This direct access to the Port of Miami will relieve congestion and improve safety in downtown Miami by taking freight and cruise line traffic off local streets. The $912 million project used $221 million in federal-aid funding and a $341 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

"Investing in transportation projects like the Port of Miami Tunnel is good news not only for Miami, but for the entire country thanks to the businesses supported by its port," said Secretary Foxx. "We need Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill so we can continue to invest in more projects that will help generate economic growth, relieve congestion and improve safety."

The Obama Administration recently unveiled the GROW AMERICA Act, a bold $302 billion, four-year national vision to address the country's aging transportation network.

GROW AMERICA will create a multi-modal freight incentive program that will provide states $10 billion over four years to give shippers, transportation providers and freight workers a real seat at the table for infrastructure investment decisions. This badly needed program will give states, cities and other transportation stakeholders a new tool to improve the safe and efficient movement of freight.

The Port of Miami is the region's second-largest economic generator after the airport. It is one of the nation's largest container ports and is home to 13 cruise lines. Nearly 16,000 vehicles travel to and from the Port of Miami through downtown streets each weekday, including nearly 5,000 trucks.

The new tunnel will link I-395 and the MacArthur Causeway (SR A1A) with the Port – providing trucks, cruise line buses, and other port-related traffic an alternative to the congested Port Boulevard in the central business district. The project created a wider MacArthur Causeway Bridge and built direct tunnel connections between Watson Island and Dodge Island at the Port.

"The new Port of Miami Tunnel will improve the efficiency and reliability of freight movement by adding this direct connection from the interstate to the Port," Federal Highway Deputy Administrator Gregory Nadeau said. "It is also an example of innovative and modern financing strategies."

The project was built through a public-private partnership that includes an agreement between the Florida Department of Transportation and a private concessionaire for maintenance and operations.

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Page posted on May 20, 2014.
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