Monday, July 18, 2011

Ground Broken on Port of Miami Intermodal Freight Link

Ray LaHood Attends Ceremony
Shipping News Feature

USA – On Friday U.S. Secretary of Transport Ray LaHood joined Senator Bill Nelson and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez in a ceremony to break ground on a new intermodal rail link for the Port of Miami (POM). The $49 million project is being supported by the Department of Transport’s (DOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants program.

The project will see the rail link between the Port of Miami and the Florida East Coast Rail Yard in Hialeah, Florida refurbished and brought back into use, having been suspended since 2005 following damage sustained during Hurricane Wilma.

With Miami one of only three US east-coast ports that will be able to handle “Post-Panamax” ships – large freighters that can carry more than 5,000 containers which will come into service in increasing numbers once the Panama Canal expansion is completed in 2014 – the rail reconnection work is part of a larger project underway at the Port.

The Miami Access Tunnel – also being funded by a DOT loan – will see truck traffic diverted away from local roads in the area. By shifting freight traffic below ground and restoring the direct rail connection to the East Coast Rail Yard it is estimated that approximately 60,000 truck trips every year will be eliminated from surface roads between the port and the railway, greatly relieving these congested routes.

Mr LaHood said:

“Upgrading the port is a win for everyone. The port will gain access to the world's largest ships and the economic activity they generate. Businesses will get the goods much faster. And fewer trucks on the already congested roads between the port and the rail yard will mean Miami drivers spend less time stuck in traffic.

“This long-awaited venture is exactly the kind of innovative project that will create jobs today while preparing South Florida to seize tomorrow's economic opportunities.”