As of Sunday 3 August, traffic began to filter through the newly-opened Port of Miami Tunnel. The 4,200ft-long tunnel connects State Road A1A/MacArthur Causeway to Dodge Island, providing a new entry point to Port Miami by enabling direct access between the seaport and highways I-395 and I-95.
The Port of Miami Tunnel is the result of a Public Private Partnership between Bouygues Travaux Publics and Meridiam Infrastructure (Private) and Florida Department of Transportation, Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami (Public).
Local firm ArquitectonicaGEO was brought onto the project by Bouygues Civil Works Florida (design-build contractor and 10% equity partner) to act as design architect and landscape architect for all above-grade support buildings, tunnel entrance structures, tunnel interior finishes, and landscaping of the tunnel approach roads.
One of the key reasons for initiating the Port of Miami Tunnel project was to reduce the number of cargo trucks and cruise-related vehicles on the streets of downtown Miami, easing traffic flow throughout the city.
The project consists of three main components: two 4,200ft-long, 43ft-wide tunnels below the Government Cut shipping channel; the connection of PortMiami on Dodge Island with I-395 via the MacArthur Causeway; and the widening of MacArthur Causeway Bridge, realignment of eastbound State Road A1A/MacArthur Causeway lanes and the reconstruction of Parrot Jungle Trail frontage road.
Marking each end of the tunnel are 80ft-tall portals designed by ArquitectonicaGEO, housing 50-ton flood gates to aid resilience in the event of a hurricane storm surge. The team has designed these functional structures as ‘beacons and modern art pieces’ by contrasting the smooth concrete surfaces with metal meshing which glows in the evening.
In a design statement, ArquitectonicaGEO compares their goals for the scheme to that of Roman aqueducts, Italian Baroque fountains, and American roads and bridges from the WPA era, noting that they wish to ‘raise infrastructure to the level of civic art’.
The landscaping of the approach roads has been addressed with native foliage in naturalistic drifts to reference the upland and lowland plantings of Biscayne Bay. ArquitectonicaGEO was also responsible for the administrative and operations buildings for the Port of Miami Tunnel and used concrete finishes and shading structures throughout to enhance the sustainability credentials of the project.Credits
Construction Project Manager: Victor R. Ortiz, P.E. - CSA Group
Public Information Specialist: Liz Fernandez - Stantec Consulting
Owner’s Representative: Peter Donahue, P.E. - Parsons Brinckerhoff
Construction Engineering & Inspection (CEI) Team: Steve Dusseault - Parsons Brinckerhoff
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (FDOT) District Construction Engineer: Mark Croft, P.E.
FDOT Assistant District Construction Engineer: Mario Cabrera, P.E.
FDOT North Miami-Dade Resident Engineer: Ivan Hay, P.E.
FDOT South Miami-Dade Resident Engineer: Erik Padron, P.E.
FDOT Construction Public Information Project Manager: Kathy McLendon
Concessionaire: MAT Concessionarie, LLC
Design-Build Contractor: Bouygues Civil Works Florida
Tunnel Operator / Maintenance: Transfield Services Industry
FDOT Construction Program Manager: Jacqueline Sequiera, P.E.
FDOT Design Project Manager: Teresita Alvarez, P.E.
Design architect and landscape architect for all above-grade support buildings, tunnel entrance structures, tunnel interior finishes and landscaping of tunnel approach roads: ArquitectonicaGEO