Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We Must Continue the Port of Miami Tunnel Project

The Port of Miami Tunnel project, part of the Global Agreement, has been a dream of City of Miami planners for decades, with the ultimate aim of its construction being the relief from congestion that currently clogs our downtown streets near the entrance of Miami’s port. It has been our goal to get this important infrastructure project approved and finished, in the hopes that its construction will make our downtown more livable.
The Florida Department of Transportation’s decision not to close the deal on the Port of Miami Tunnel project is unacceptable. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and I held a press conference yesterday urging Governor Charlie Crist to reconsider FDOT's decision.
The $457.5 million dollar investment will bring an immediate influx of cash into our economy. The construction of the tunnel will create an estimated 600 jobs, jobs that will go to our residents and will help protect Florida’s largest economy from the recession we are currently facing. The tunnel, recommended by FDOT as a means of improving the flow of traffic and relieving congestion, is vital to the future of Miami as a major player in the world economy.
During this time of ever increasing economic hardship we, as a city, county and state, need to have projects in place that not only create jobs, but improve our competitiveness and invest in our future.
The port, Miami’s second most important economic engine, employs 17,000 people, generates over two-billion dollars in business and has an immediate economic impact worth well over half-a-billion dollars. With increasing competition from Port Everglades, Jacksonville, Panama and a slew of ports in the Caribbean, can the state really allow Miami’s port, the state’s most important to lose its position as a global player? The answer is no, and we implore Governor Crist to do his part and provide the assistance that we need to improve the sustainability, resident friendly and competitive position that downtown Miami has developed over the last ten years.

Please read the letter sent to Governor Crist HERE
- Manny