Posted by: tampachamber on Monday, October 29, 2012
Cori Cuttler, Sr. Director of Government and Military Affairs The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce joined a delegation of leaders from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, and Hernando counties on a tour of Miami infrastructure projects with Congressman John Mica, Chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. The morning started with a breakfast hosted by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Transportation Taskforce where Congressman Mica and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart gave an update on the two-year transportation funding bill passed earlier this year by the US Congress and signed by the President. Our next stop was Port Miami where Port Director Bill Johnson and Congressman Mica discussed the state and federal financial investments being made to upgrade the efficiency of the Port followed by a tour of the Port Miami Tunnel project.  The Port Tunnel will serve as a dedicated roadway connector linking Port Miami with the Interstate System similar to the THEA Connector project in Tampa. Following the Port visit, the Congressman accompanied us to lunch, hosted by Miami International Airport, where we were joined by Miami’s transportation leaders for an update on the investments made to upgrade MIA including the construction of the new Miami Intermodal Center (MIC.) The MIC is an offsite airport facility connected to the airport by a people mover that houses all rental car activities and is a station for the METRO and, upon completion, a station for TRI-RAIL. After lunch, the Miami officials joined us for a ride on the people mover to tour the MIC. And our final tour, before returning to Tampa, was ride a on Tri-Rail’s diesel multi-unit (DMU) passenger railcar.  Are DMU’s a possible first step for the Tampa Bay region? Every site we visited included a presentation and each presenter encouraged the Tampa Bay region to continue to work toward intermodal solutions to our transportation problems and to not give up on pursuing rail as a way to better connect our region.