Rail line to Port of Miami on track to add jobs, trade
By Ashley D. Torres
If it's funded, a 2013 return of rail service to the Port of Miami could add 822 jobs.
Planned to roll July 1, 2013, the port rail, utilizing the Florida East Coast Railway corridor, is to link Dodge Island to the Hialeah rail yard, 6875 NW 58th St. The link is to make the port more competitive and ready to grow when a wider Panama Canal spurs trade.
The port sought $28 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery funds to rehabilitate Dodge Island tracks and the unused bascule bridge, which links the port to the mainland. The port is to learn in October if it's awarded the grant.
Rail link construction is to create 822 direct jobs and $33.38 million in wages.
"The number of true jobs that would be created locally is much larger over time," said Kevin T. Lynskey, port assistant director, "because we would be attracting more container services based on our abilities to provide intermodal services."
Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff has cited the port as number-two employer in Miami-Dade, with 410 employees and generating 176,000 jobs according to the rail application, and number one for highest-paid positions.
The federal grant would cover 60% of the cost of $46.9 million. The remaining 40% would come from $6.5 million from the Florida Department of Transportation, $2.3 million from the port for equipment purchases and $10 million from the railway company.
If awarded the grant, preconstruction and design would take three to four months, Mr. Lynskey said, with construction set for spring 2011. The port intermodal site, where trains would load and unload, is to be complete by May 2013 and the bascule bridge rehabilitation by June 2013.