“Council Member’s Mistake” Halts Port Tunnel Boring Ceremony

MIAMI (CBS4) – A ceremony celebrating the construction of the Port of Miami Tunnel is cancelled after what’s being called a “council member’s mistake.”

The ceremony was supposed to take place at the construction site where the tunnel boring machine is located.

The machine is four stories tall as long as a football field and it will bore through ground under water to create the Port of Miami Tunnel.

The boring was set to start next week with a ceremony kicking it off Friday morning.

Project manager Christopher Hodgkins says the project was scheduled around Governor Rick Scott coming to Miami.

“I think he was excited because it’s 2,600 jobs,” said Hodgkins.

Hundreds of workers and public officials were also supposed to attend.

Hodgkins told CBS4’s Maggie Newland that people were flying in from all over the world, not just the United States.

Thursday, a three page document stopped the much anticipated celebration planned for Friday cancelling the event, just a day before it was to begin.

Hodgkins was forced to postpone.

“We stopped everything in its tracks,” said Hodgkins. “We do not want to move an inch without all the proper environmental permits.”

The motion by the Village of Key Biscayne cites environmental concerns and asks the state of Florida for extra time to decide whether to challenge the permit to build the tunnel.

CBS 4 spoke with Mayor Frank Caplan Thursday.

“This was news to me, this was news to our entire council with the exception of one council member who had put this into action on his own,” said Caplan.

Caplan says the village has never tried to stop the project and other council members weren’t aware councilman Mike Davey had asked the village lawyers to file the document.  Mayor Caplan says that should not have happened.

Davey apologized with a letter to his fellow council members.

The letter by Davey stated, “I should never have instructed the Village attorney to do anything without the approval of council for that I am truly sorry.”

Late Thursday, Key Biscayne withdrew the motion and will not challenge the permit.

That made Hodgkins happier.

“We’re elated to hear the Village of Key Biscayne says, in fact, they were wrong we’re going to withdraw that that’s big of them to do that we appreciate that it does not stop this project we’re going forward,” He said.

The ceremony to mark the start of the boring project was already cancelled and will not take place Friday morning.

  • JC

    Thanks for cancelling a HIstoric Event for This City. YOU SHOULD ALL BE RECALLED. !!!!!!!

  • Will Kane

    This moron should at least be censured. If it had been a town employee they would be fired. Another example of a small town council member feeling he is above all others. This idiot hopefully will not be relected.

  • John

    I will settle this, The first question is not the environmental impact. It is the American Act 1933. I will bet the $45,000,000 drill bought from Germany does not have a waiver and is in violation of the law. You mean to tell me there is no Company in the US that can build a drill better than this. Heck this is why we need a recall on all commissioners. The next thing is we will have a Chinese casino with all Chinese workers, and nothing for the local people. Has any one thought about inviting Nevada Corporations to place a Casino in Miami. At least they pay taxes..The Chinese only want to pay the State 10%. And you wonder what republicans in the state congress are up to. Vote these morons out.

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