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Port of Miami Tunnel

Miami-Dade County, Florida

Market Sector

Ports and Marine


Marine Ports and Container Facilities

Services Provided

Code Services, Program Management, Environmental



The Port of Miami is home to one of the world's largest cruise ports and is a major cargo port in the United States. The port is located on Dodge Island, just off the coast of downtown Miami. The Port Boulevard Bridge, which was the sole access point to the port, experienced significant vehicle traffic in recent years due to the growth of Miami’s cargo and tourism trades. The Port of Miami Tunnel Project was the culmination of a study performed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), determining that a second point of entry to the port was necessary to help alleviate congestion on the bridge. The Tunnel project, delivered through a public-private partnership, links the Port of Miami with the adjacent interstate system, improving the passenger and cargo movement to and from the Port.

Project Highlights:

  • Twin-Bored Tunnel System
  • Cut-and-Cover Design
  • Public-Private partnership
  • Sub-aqueous Crossing
  • U-wall Structures
  • Environmental Review
  • Life Safety System Compliance
  • Technical Advisement and Procurement of Concessionaire
  • Owner’s Representative Services

The Port of Miami Tunnel Project consists of three components: a Tunnel connection between Watson Island and Port of Miami (Dodge Island); connections to the Port of Miami roadway system; and widening of the MacArthur Causeway bridge.

The tunnel structure is approximately 4,200 feet in length and is composed of two tunnels, each containing two traffic lanes, curbs, walkways, ventilation fans and additional safety features. Each is approximately 39 feet in diameter and connects Watson Island and the Port of Miami beneath the main shipping channel in the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, moving traffic to and from the Port. The bottom of the tunnels is approximately 120 feet below the surface at their deepest point and was constructed utilizing a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). For both travel directions, the roadway ramp connector alignments descend into a depressed U-wall section and continue to cut-and-cover sections at the tunnel entry portals and progress into separate tunnel bores beneath the main shipping channel.

The firm served FDOT as member of a technical advisory team that supported the agency in its efforts to procure a Concession Agreement with a concessionaire to design, construct, finance, and operate and maintain the facility over an extended period of time.

T.Y. Lin International's responsibilities included analysis and compliance with structural engineering, life safety requirements and environmental review/compliance.