The Port of Miami Tunnel Project is the first P3 project in the U.S., completed in 2010 at the cost of $700 million. The new tunnel provided a direct link needed to alleviate the traffic congestion caused by I-95 traffic having to go through the City of Miami to connect with I-395. Tony Lancellotti, PE served as the Principal-In-Charge of the FLDOT’s consultant team that planned, studied, developed the P3 Contract Documents, reviewed the construction documents by the P3 team, and oversaw the construction of the project as the Owner’s Engineering Team. Eldon Abbott, PE served as the Project Manager, and Peter Donahue, PE served as the Deputy Project Manager during the preliminary design, optioneering and preparing the Design Build criteria documents for the concession on behalf of FDOT. Both immersed tube and bored tunnel options were developed during preliminary engineering evaluations, and the bored tunnel option was selected based primarily on the lesser disruption it created to the operation of the nearby Cruise Terminal which generated considerable revenues for the Port of Miami. Peter later served as the Project Manager during the construction phase of the project. The crossing consists of twin, 42-foot diameter vehicular tunnels linking the Port of Miami with interstate highways I-395 and I- 95 in downtown Miami. The project provided improved port access for vehicular traffic and consists of two 3,000-ft long, two-lane tunnel crossings under the main shipping channel between the MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island and the Port of Miami on Dodge Island, all located in the environmentally sensitive Biscayne Bay. Technical challenges included the control of groundwater during excavation for cut-and-cover approach tunnels, locating and filling of voids or very loose sand layers in the limestone bedrock—lying within or just below the tunnel horizon—that could endanger the tunnel boring equipment during construction, and grouting of voids in the vuggy limestone bedrock to seal water inflows.
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