At DOT, we're investing in projects that put Americans back to work and contribute to our long-term prosperity while once again making this nation’s transportation system the envy of the world.
And on Friday, I was pleased to join US Senator Bill Nelson, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and other state and local leaders to break ground on the Port of Miami Intermodal and Rail Reconnection Project. This long-awaited venture, supported by DOT’s TIGER program, is exactly the kind of innovative project that will create jobs today while preparing South Florida to seize tomorrow's economic opportunities.
View news video of the groundbreaking at nbcmiami.com
Construction crews will restore rail service between the Port of Miami and the Florida East Coast Rail Yard in Hialeah, Florida. This valuable link was suspended in 2005 following damage from Hurricane Wilma.
Rail reconnection work is part of a larger project underway at the Port--including the new Miami Access Tunnel funded by a DOT loan--that will help position the Port of Miami to take advantage of new business when the current Panama Canal expansion opens in 2014. The new tunnel and the restored rail service will open the Port of Miami's doors to this economic opportunity.
But first, this investment will create 822 construction jobs. In fact, some of the folks who were hired to work on the line braved the heat on Friday to help me break ground on the project. I know they're happy to be on the job, and we're happy to have them doing this important work.
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.
The improvements DOT is supporting at the Port of Miami will benefit people and businesses across the Miami-Dade region and nationwide for decades to come. I look forward to visiting again when the work is complete to see the dividends from this bold investment.
But in the meantime, I'll be back in Florida today--this time in the Orlando area--with an exciting announcement about another innovative transportation endeavor, SunRail.