Open for just over a month, Florida State Road 887, better known as the Port Miami Tunnel, has become a tourist attraction. While undersea tunnels of 4,200 feet are not unusual in other parts of the USA, this is the longest, most costly tunnel in Florida history.
In fact, if not for a short tunnel in downtown Fort Lauderdale, the most noticed tunnel in Florida allows drivers to go under Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World to arrive at the Contemporary Resort. Florida is not designed for land-based tunnels.
This one billion dollar plus project is a unique public-private partnership (a P3) in which ten international banks joined to provide senior debt financing. This is really a global project: 90% of the equity came from Luxembourg’s Meridiam Infrastructure Finance and 10% from France’s Bouygues Travaux Publics SA.
The project reveals how important the tunnel system is to not only the growth of the Port of Miami, but also reducing the congestion in downtown Miami. The Port will now be directly connected to the east/west Interstate 395 and Interstate 95, a big boost to the thousands of trucks using the Port of Miami.
For Floridians, spending an entire sixty seconds driving through the fifteen foot high tunnels – “Trucks on the Right.” – is a thrill ride. Four million cruise passengers will be using the tunnel this year to get to “the World’s Greatest Cruise Ship Port.”