Construction starts on Miami port tunnel

Controversial $1 billion project to be done by 2014.

Click image for larger viewConstruction workers broke ground Monday morning on one of the biggest road projects in South Florida, a $1 billion tunnel that will connect the Port of Miami to the MacArthur Causeway.  Initial construction on the project, which has begun on Watson Island, is not expected to impact traffic headed to and from South Beach for the always busy Memorial Day weekend.

When completed, the tunnel will divert truck traffic off I-395 (MacArthur Causeway) and into a tunnel heading to and from the Port of Miami in order to reduce traffic congestion in downtown Miami.

While some people who live in the area have mixed emotions about the project, others who have been forced to sit in traffic because of the congestion can't wait.

"I want that tunnel done as soon as possible because this is ridiculous what happens every day," said a driver who was stuck in traffic near the port.

"I don't like the traffic in Miami period so that's gonna be another headache to deal with," said Jeannie Borsanyi.

Heavier road construction will begin at the end of the summer. The tunnel is expected to be finished by the spring of 2014.