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Front Page » Top Stories » Light at end for tunnel under the Miami River

Light at end for tunnel under the Miami River

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Written by on October 24, 2017

Light at end for tunnel under the Miami River

New developments should encourage proponents of a tunnel under the Miami River.

On Monday, the county’s Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) released a study by Doral-based Atkins engineering firm.

The study for the TPO, dated August, said in part, “The potential impact of the Miami River tunnel is significant in terms of relief to surface-street congestion in the vicinity of the Brickell Avenue bridge, especially when exacerbated by bridge openings for marine traffic in the river.

“Limited travel demand modeling suggests that the tunnel will attract sufficient traffic to justify a four-lane facility and that traffic crossing the existing bridge will be significantly diminished. These benefits would be accrued only with a significant investment in the capital cost and ongoing operations cost of the tunnel facility.

“The tunnel as proposed would also trigger some shifts in travel movement patterns across the lower section of downtown Miami and in the Brickell district. These shifts need to be identified and analyzed further as part of any further planning and development of this proposed project.”

The study calls the PortMiami tunnel “very instructive to the advancement of this new tunnel proposal,” as is New York City’s Second Avenue subway project, which will add new subway lines in a constrained urban setting.

The study outlines the next steps, which are already underway. They include the tunnel’s incorporation into the TPO’s 2040 long-range transportation plan as an unfunded project (board members voted unanimously to add it in August) and “pursuit of funds for further corridor study and analysis within the adopted five-year Transportation Improvement Program.”

Last week, the TPO’s governing board unanimously approved a request by its vice chair, Miami commissioner and mayoral aspirant Francis Suarez, to further amend the long-range transportation plan to include the tunnel’s unfunded section, and to urge the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to fund and begin the project development and environment study for it. That study is necessary before the project can move forward. Mr. Suarez has been a strong proponent of the tunnel as a way to alleviate gridlock downtown and in Brickell.

“Should the project be advanced, it would capture the intent of the tunnel and bridge options first identified in the 1966 study sponsored by the Florida DOT to connect Biscayne Boulevard with Brickell Avenue,” the Atkins report observed.

6 Responses to Light at end for tunnel under the Miami River

  1. Holgy Reply

    October 24, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    It is about time to look at the tunnel and other significant traffic relief enhancements.

  2. DC Copeland Reply

    October 25, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Just a little curious about how much this new study cost the public. “Common Sense” was what the study studied. Thankfully it came to the same conclusion because nothing gets done down here without some sort of study which, for the most part, are there just to protect the bureaucrats charged with making million-plus-dollar decisions, i.e., “Well, the study proves it will work– despite its cost.”

  3. Jas33131 Reply

    October 25, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    They shouldn’t be encouraging the use of Biscayne and Brickell for through traffic. Reduce the width of all our downtown streets to two-lane, two-way neighborhood streets and force through traffic to 95.

  4. Ao Reply

    October 27, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Tunnels make sense in a freeway setting where the goal is to allow unimpeded traffic flow of cars and trucks. That is (or should not be) not the goal of our downtown street network.

  5. DC Copeland Reply

    October 27, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Tell that kind of thinking to NYC, London, Paris, Moscow, Beijing, etc.

  6. Bill Reply

    November 1, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Don’t be surprised when the Miami River Commission tries to aggrandize this issue and make it a bargaining chip to thwart progress.

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