Odebrecht-OHL Joint Venture Breaks Ground on Metrorail Airport Connection.
MIAMI -- A joint venture between the Odebrecht (Coral Gables, FL) and OHL (Hialeah, FL) construction companies broke ground today on a rail line that will link the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC), under construction next to Miami International Airport (MIA), with the city's Metrorail transit system. The 2.4-mile line, slated for completion in 2012, will be built between the MIC and the existing Earlington Heights Station, facilitating public transportation to and from the airport for passengers, residents and workers.
The Odebrecht-OHL Joint Venture will build the Metrorail extension guideway to the MIC as well as an award-winning passenger station adjacent to the MIC complex, three substations, bus station, upgrade and new construction of several connecting roadways. The MIC will serve as a central transportation hub for the airport complex, including a consolidated rental car center, a bus depot for public and private bus lines, and access to Metrorail, Tri-Rail and Amtrak rail lines.
The $360 million project is unique in that it includes an elevated guideway and construction is taking place in a high-traffic area, requiring traffic maintenance as well as the constant coordination and integration of the operational Metrorail system. Passengers will ride between the MIC and the airport on the 1.27-mile MIA Mover, an Automated People Mover (APM) also under construction by Odebrecht under another joint venture, and for which ground was broken in early March. Altogether, the various transportation projects will help ease traffic congestion and reduce the area's carbon footprint.
"Linking Miami International Airport to the Metrorail system is a long-awaited project that is now becoming a reality," says Gilberto Neves, CEO of Odebrecht in the US. "We are very pleased to be part of this historic moment for Miami-Dade public transportation, and we are confident that the project will continue to add to Miami's growing role as a world-class community."
The Metrorail's MIC-Earlington Heights Connector is slated to employ 300 workers, boosting the South Florida economy as well as contributing to the inclusion of local small businesses. The Odebrecht-OHL Joint Venture has committed more than $43 million to hiring small- and medium-sized subcontractors and consultants, with about 12% of the work being carried out by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs).
The Airport Connector will provide rapid access to the airport from Downtown Miami, Dadeland and Hialeah, reducing travel time and cost for airport workers, tourists, shoppers and University of Miami students, among others. The project also helps to reduce greenhouse emissions by expanding the city's public transportation network. The Metrorail system already reports 18 million annual boardings, which are set to increase as the system continues to undergo expansion.
"We are grateful to Miami-Dade County for their continued confidence in us, and excited to get started on a project that will so greatly benefit the Miami-Dade community. The MIC - Earlington Heights Connector will improve regional transit connectivity, offer greater access and convenience to riders, and connect MIA while reducing the number of vehicles traveling to the airport. It will also contribute to providing employment opportunities. The project will meet all Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements," concluded Lauro Bravar, CEO of OHL USA, Inc.
Odebrecht, a global construction company founded in 1944 and headquartered in Brazil, is one of the world's leading engineering and construction firms. The company's US division, which entered the US market in 1991, is based in Coral Gables, Florida. It became the first Brazilian contractor ever awarded a US public works contract, when it was hired by Miami's Metro Dade Transit Agency to expand its Metromover Downtown Automated People Mover (APM). Its projects throughout Miami-Dade County have included construction of the Miami International Airport South and North Terminals, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, American Airlines Arena, I-95 Golden Glades Interchange and sections of the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826). The company is also working with the US Army Corps of Engineers on rebuilding and improving levees in New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Odebrecht corporate Web site: www.odebrecht.com.
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|Date:||May 1, 2009|
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