State Courts 2nd Port Of Miami Tunnel Work Bidder
By Risa Polansky
In a bid to salvage its sinking Port of Miami tunnel project, the Florida Department of Transportation is seeking to entice a former contender for the job to reenter the mix.
A Sept. 30 deadline to get $50 million for the $1 billion project from the City of Miami lapsed, and many thought that would kill the tunnel. But the state has asked not only the team it selected to design, build, maintain, operate and finance the tunnel but also its second choice to hold prices through December as Miami scrambles to pin down its share.
Though the Department of Transportation said in May the Miami Access Tunnel team would spearhead the project, it hasn’t awarded the contract, said department spokesman Dick Kane, so the state was able to reach out to runner-up Miami Mobility Group in an attempt to revive the tunnel.
Miami Access representatives did not return calls or e-mails, though Mr. Kane said the team is "reviewing the proposed extension."
Miami Mobility plans to agree this week to extend its proposal, said a representative of Odebrecht Construction, a facet of the team.
Both consortiums agreed to an extension once, said Johnny Martinez, Department of Transportation District Six secretary.
Should Miami Mobility’s proposal — about $6 million higher than the frontrunner’s — be alone on the table, he said, "we would negotiate with them to try to get it to the same amount, but at least it would still be in the ballgame."
Both the state and Miami-Dade County have said they can’t fund more.
A letter from Miami Mayor Manny Diaz seeking an extension to Dec. 13 to give the city commission time to commit the $50 million spurred the state’s bid for another grace period.
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