FYI Miami: December 17, 2015
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PORT SIBLINGS: Miami now has a sister port agreement with Hamburg’s historic port that was established in 1189 by Frederick the First. Manny Gonzalez of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade told the county’s Trade and Tourism Committee last week this will be a profitable relationship, as Germany is the 16th largest tourism market in the world and our fourth largest market for visitors to Miami-Dade. Commissioners expressed pleasure and congratulations to Mr. Gonzalez and Port Director Juan Kuryla for establishing the relationship. Moving forward, Commissioner Xavier Suarez warned officials involved with international trade to be careful if dealing with systems like China and Cuba, which have lately convinced international economic organizations to go to Purchasing Power Parity as an alternative quantification, which exaggerates their Gross Domestic Product, Mr. Suarez said, possibly by a factor of 5% in the case of Cuba.
THE LAST CHECK: Miami city commissioners have approved the city’s final payment for the massive PortMiami tunnel. The commission approved a final interest payment of $1,512,189.20 to the State of Florida Department of Transportation for the tunnel project, completed and opened in 2014. Two one-way tunnels stretch under a section of Biscayne Bay from the MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island to PortMiami on Dodge Island. One tunnel enters the port and a separate tunnel exits the port via the same route. The $1 billion-plus project was built by a public-private partnership between the state, Miami-Dade County, City of Miami and the private MAT Concessionaire LLC.
MORE STORM SEWERS $$$: Miami city commissioners have approved adding $2 million to a two-year contract to repair storm sewers. The request came from the Public Works Department. The contract will now pay JVA Engineering Contractor Inc. no more than $4 million for the duration of the contract. The legislation says this will give the Public Works Department “greater flexibility in expeditiously constructing the backlog of drainage improvement projects.” The work consists of installing and repairing the storm sewer system around the city. The projects are to alleviate severe flooding locations throughout the city with the installation of French drains, cross pipes, manhole structures, catch basins, deep drainage well structures, flap valves, rock drains, regrading of the swale areas and incidental surface restoration including sidewalk, driveway, curb, and asphalt pavement.