Miami mayor wants port tunnel, ballpark
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez said he considers the construction of a port tunnel and a downtown Miami baseball stadium as key projects he would like to see completed, in a speech that likely raised both hope and alarm for shipping interests in Miami-Dade County.
Pointing out how major, publicly financed projects from the Panama Canal to the Golden Gate Bridge can change communities, countries, and even the world, Alvarez said 'the port tunnel can be Miami-Dade County's work for the 21st century.'
The seaport is a critical part of the local economy, said Alvarez, who this year gained considerable power when voters approved a strong mayor form of government for Miami-Dade County.
'Competition is fierce,' he said. 'With Port Everglades just 27 miles to our north, we have to do more to lure and keep our cruise and cargo customers. We cannot leave anything to chance.'
While those concerned about access problems at the Port of Miami undoubtedly like the mayor's strong support for the port tunnel, they were probably alarmed by his support for a downtown baseball stadium, which is seen as a potential contributor to port access problems.
Without tying the port and the stadium together, Alvarez said a baseball stadium would help Miami cement its position as a sports and entertainment hub.
The stadium would need additional commitments from the city and the state legislature before a stadium project could be finalized.