Saturday, July 29, 2006

Miami's "Big Dig"? Manny! Carlos! Say it ain't so!

The Port of Miami and the FDOT are talking about boring a BILLION DOLLAR truck tunnel from the Port to Watson Island. I wish the public could vote for or against this cockamamey idea. After learning about the recent misappropriation of millions of taxpayers dollars to build public housing and the hamhanded billion dollar airport construction project, I'm pretty sure this proposed project would get buried where it belongs. Even if a plan is worked out between the city and county and a construction company that will build and operate it in exchange for forking up some big bucks, I'm still "agin it." Besides making it a target for terrorists and a place waiting for major accidents to happen, it will probably raise the cost of shipped goods in and out of the port. The proposed plan calls for the builder/operator to run a toll booth over a period of 75-years in order to recoup its costs to build it and to make a profit. You can bet those toll costs will be passed on to you and me in the form of more expensive goods. Perhaps the new Port Director ought to try using the railroad tracks leading to and from the port that have been lying idle for years (see picture). Transporting cargo containers and truck trailers by rail in the dead of night in order to lessen the impact on downtown traffic to and from the off-site railyards near the airport seems to me to be the logical economical solution. But what do I know? I'm only a citizen writing the Rodney Dangerfield of blogs. That's my opinion. What's yours? Posted by Picasa

UpDate (12/13/08): Christmas comes early with the announcement that the tunnel project succumbs to a well-deserved death when the state and Bouygues Travaux Publics can't agree on terms. Hurray!


Anonymous said...

I don't like the tunnel, but the current situation also sucks. The Camillus house residents don't complain too much about the truck traffic, but you can bet the millionaire's in the condos will. (As well they should). I am not sure using the train would address the problem. Also transferring containers to train only to transfer them AGAIN to trucks sounds more expensive than paying a toll and $Gagillion tunnel. Still don't like it, but I don't see great alternatives.

Verticus S. Erectus said...

Anonymous, many of the trucks leaving the port already drive to the off-site rail yard near the airport to have their trailers transferred there (and vice-versa). It doesn't make any sense when they could be transported by rail to and from the port. Why is this happening? The powerful trucking union. Anyway, with the way fuel prices continue to rise, transporting goods by rail directly from the port will be a no brainer.

Blingtown said...

(posted as anonymous before)

I didn't realize that the trucks transfered to train already, however I am not sure if that addresses what I consider to be the main problem. That is: heavy traffic through a corridor that will have a pedestrian emphasis soon. Would train traffic be better than the current truck traffic for the future residents and visitors to Biscayne Blvd? Would a train be easier to elevate? I am certainly open to persuasion.

Verticus S. Erectus said...

Blingtown, my proposal rests with moving freight on trains "in the dead of night" where impact should be minimal except to the occasional milkman, newspaper delivery dude, and homeless person. As always, thanks for your response.