The Port of Miami was awarded a $22 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant on Monday to restore and upgrade rail service between the port and the Florida East Coast Rail Yard in Hialeah, which provides direct cargo access to the national rail system.
Rail service linking the port with the Hialeah Rail was suspended in 2005, following damage to the rail bridge to the Port during Hurricane Wilma.
The Port of Miami Restoration of service is part of a comprehensive strategic plan that also includes a new highway tunnel under Biscayne Bay to the port and the dredging project to deepen the port harbor from the current 42-feet to 50-feet for the next generation of cargo vessels that will traverse an expanded Panama Canal beginning in 2014.
By The Numbers: U.S. Intermodal Container Traffic.
The grant was awarded under the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Discretionary program (TIGER II), which is part of the U.S. Government’s economic stimulus program. The Port of Miami’s TIGER II application was among the nearly 1,000 submitted throughout the nation with applications from every state.
“This is tremendous news,” said Port of Miami Director Bill Johnson. “The Port of Miami’s award is one of only a handful of successful applications nationwide.”
Johnson said the rail project is one of three major infrastructure projects critical to the Port’s future success.
“The tunnel project is already underway. Now, the restoration of rail service to our port is officially a go,” Johnson said.
“The third component is deepening our waters to 50 feet to accommodate the new generation of cargo vessels -- our focus will now be securing the federal funding to make what we call the “Deep Dredge” a reality. These three projects position the Port of Miami to become an even greater player in the global marketplace.”
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