Miami readies itself to welcome record-breaking TBM

1 June 2011

Everything was on schedule for delivery of the largest TBM used to date on US soil, Liz Fernandez, spokesperson for the Port of Miami Tunnel (POMT) project yesterday told T&T. The 12.86m Herrenknecht EPB TBM will excavate two bores running from Watson Island to Dodge Island and back again.

“The machine should arrive in the week starting 20 June, probably on the Thursday,” said Fernandez. “Testing was completed by the contractor, Bouygues Civil Works of Florida (BCWF) in mid April after which the machine was disassembled for shipment to Miami.

“Currently, BCWF is preparing the Watson Island site for the arrival of the TBM this June. That means Support of Excavation (SOE) systems are being put in place, including the excavation of the shaft. That phase will be completed in June, prior to the TBM’s arrival. It will take about three months to reassemble the TBM inside the shaft before mining can begin.

Initial construction began on Watson Island in May 2010 and Dodge Island in December 2010. Eastbound tunnel excavation should commence in October from the Watson Island shaft and take around seven months to reach Dodge Island for completion in spring 2012. The machine will be partially disassembled, turned around, reassembled, then tunnelling will get underway on the westbound tunnel for completion in spring 2013. The second drive was anticipated take the same amount of time. The tunnel has been scheduled to open to traffic on 15 May 2014.