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American Shipper

FDOT asks for official port tunnel proposals

FDOT asks for official port tunnel proposals

The Florida Department of Transportation said Thursday it has released its Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Port of Miami tunnel project.

   The FDOT has already narrowed the field for the $1.2 billion project to three consortia of international companies, all with experience in major public-private projects. Those companies had to submit detailed information after an earlier Request for Qualifications from the state.

   Whichever group wins the concession for the port tunnel will design and build the tunnel and accompanying road improvements over a five-year period, then operate and maintain the tunnel for 30 years after it opens for traffic.

   The RFP is a noteworthy step it contains the specifics the bidders will need for putting together final proposals. Those proposals are due by February 15'a month-and-a-half later than a schedule put out earlier this year.

   The FDOT said that after it receives the final proposals it expects to award a contract in 'early spring' of 2007.

   The port tunnel will run under Biscayne Bay between the port and Watson Island, where I-395 ends and become the MacArthur Causeway, which runs parallel to the port and connects to Miami Beach. It will allow trucks direct access to the Interstate highway system and end the need to pass through several blocks in downtown Miami to reach the highway.

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