Before last Wednesday’s article in the Miami today, I was working on an article discussing the woes of the port of Miami container movement situation, which we’ll get to later. As many of you may know, a tunnel is in the works to connect the Port of Miami with I-395 via Watson Island, spanning the length of a mile beneath the Port’s main channel. The POM tunnel is a $1.2 Billion joint development project involving the FDOT, POM, MDX, Miami-Dade County and city of Miami. The project, in the works since the early 80’s, aims to remove some of the downtown congestion by directly connecting the port with the highway, no longer making it necessary for trucks and buses to traverse downtown streets. The idea isn’t half bad, considering the necessity which has evolved out of the downtown construction boom; however, I feel that we once again failed to properly evaluate all of our options, especially considering that it has been in the “works” for the better part of the past two, almost three decades. Take a few minutes and analyze the image below, found on the POM Tunnel project website and is presumably the same image our planners have been staring at for the past few years. There’s a striking port access option which, I fear, has been gravely overlooked:

Any guesses? I’ll be back with the second part of this article later today; the answer is certainly far simpler than the convoluted light barges up the Miami River option

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6 Responses to Port of Miami Container Crisis, Part 1

  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope you’re not suggesting more use of the existing FEC railroad bridge that parallels Port Blvd… The freight trains have greater capacity but their potential to snarl downtown streets with their at-grade railroad crossings makes the idea counterproductive. Pedestrians can’t even get around that either. Now, a dedicated rail tunnel — that would be interesting. Only where would the mainland connection be?


  2. Anonymous says:

    Actually, at-grade active rail is even worse than you imply. Due to congestion downtown, the trains would have to move slowly through the area to avoid hitting cars stuck in the crossing due to gridlock… so the already-long trains would take an ETERNITY to pass (like the huge limestone trains that snarl 87th Avenue and every street within a half mile for the 10-15 minutes they take to creep by at ~10mph).

    Orlando has been suffering horribly from this problem for years, because the tracks sit between downtown Orlando and I-4. Every time a freight train slowly creeps by, downtown gets almost completely cut off from I-4, causing gridlock in every direction.


  3. Steven says:

    Well thats a pretty good point about the at-grade train issue… Perhaps we can bury those too instead of building more transit?


  4. Anonymous says:

    Seeing as how we’re building Metrofail out to the airport now like we should have done in the 80’s when we built it, it would be a really good idea to also send it too the port as an extension from somewhere around Overtown station. Then they could have a line that runs directly from the Airport to the Port, transporting millions of flight passengers a year to the port and putting money into our mass transit system. Currently that money is wasted making the private taxi companies in this county rich. There would not even be a need to remove buildings, it could be built right over the current FEC tracks that hooks around the Miami Arena’s useless older brother straight to the port. And since its not at grade there’s no traffic jams. This however would only take care of passenger traffic and not containerized cargo.

    Ultimately the only major flaw of this plan is that it makes too much sense, a flaw that has been single-handedly know to cause our local politicians to avoid projects like it at all costs.


  5. Steven says:

    The east-west metrorail extention was supposed to go from FIU to the port as part of the original 1999 route plan. Unfortunately with the construction of the new courthouse downtown, that route is no longer a possibility.

    Personally, I like the idea of utilizing the current train tracks for the alignment.


  6. Anonymous says:

    I always thought that if a line was going to come into downtown from the west it would use that phantom east-west platform built at Government Center at a lower elevation than the main one. And I’m pretty sure that platform is not lines up with the federal courthouse (if your talking about the one that Architectonica built).


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