Port Tunnel Is Back Open And ‘Bone Dry’ After First Hurricane

Miami’s Port Tunnel has met and passed its first hurricane challenge.

Miami Access Tunnel Chief Executive Officer Christopher Hodgkins told The Next Miami that the tunnel reopened to traffic at 10:28 am this morning and is fully functional.

Hodgkins said he was happy that the tunnel performed as designed.

55-ton metal flood gates with a rubber gasket seal secured the tunnel during the storm. Those gates only take 19 minutes to open and close, and were already back open yesterday.

An assessment and system analysis was required due to the hurricane, and the green light was given to traffic this morning following completion.

The tunnel is designed to be water tight and was “bone dry.” The only damage: there are 47 downed trees. Four Gate Arms were also replaced.


email chain sent by chief, from lockdown to reopen:

From: Christopher Hodgkins
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2017 12:15 PM
Subject: Hurricane Irma Preparedness

Good afternoon

We just finished our morning briefing with the Coast Guard and Port Miami. We are now in Code X Ray until Friday at noon….at which time we will be going to Code Yankee.

Code Yankee will require that we vacate the Port and close our water tight, 55 ton metal gates. The flood gates have a rubber gasket seal that will prevent any water from intruding the Tunnel.

At 8am, Captain Dean of the Coast Guard will issue an order for the most critical code of Preparedness: Code Zulu.

We expect Hurricane Irma to have landfall at approximately 2am on Sunday morning. All Tunnel SERT Team members will be with me in our secure Command Center at the Port of Miami. We are hopeful that the current tracking model will change so as to avoid a direct hit on Miami.

Nevertheless we are prepared for the worst. Safety first.

I will give you an update tomorrow morning.

Please see the US Coast Guard Conditions below.



From: Christopher Hodgkins
Sent: Friday, September 08, 2017 1:34 PM
Subject: MIAMI TUNNEL Braces for Hurricane Irma

Good afternoon

The Tunnel has been closed and is secure. We had a successful flood gate closure that began this morning at 10am. The 55 ton metal gates with a rubber gasket seal will keep us water tight.

In less than six hours from now we will be at the highest hurricane level for a Category 5 Hurricane: Code Zulu. We will be shutting all operations soon and sending all personnel home to secure themselves and their families.

We anticipate the strength and duration of the storm at this time to be dire. In my last meeting with Port Director Kuryla, he indicated that the wind force after the hurricane passes will be intense both Sunday and Monday morning. The anticipated time to regroup and do a damage assessment will be at 3pm Monday at the very earliest.

To all those that made the closing a breeze today…..thanks!

Be safe and prepared.



From: Christopher Hodgkins
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 1:08 PM
Subject: Miami Tunnel….Dry as a bone. Now open!

Good Morning

We have survived Hurricane Irma and code Zulu was lifted this morning. All our tunnel assets are secured and 100% functional. We have 47 downed trees and have replaced 4 AGT Gate Arms. In cooperation with Miami Dade Police and PortMiami we opened the Tunnel for traffic today at 10:08am.

We greatly appreciate everyone’s energy and talent in securing, closing, assessing and opening the tunnel over the last 96 hours. We weathered the storm and came out stronger. The tunnel met its challenge and finished the hurricane bone dry and ready to open! Many thanks to our Tunnel team and BRS for meeting the challenge of addressing an unknown weather catastrophe head on.

We got a chance to thank everyone as we hosted the Tunnel Team with an afternoon cookout!

Christopher Hodgkins with Tunnel Team celebrating hurricane success today:



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4 years ago

Great news…if anyone thinks that the brickell bridge needs to coexist with the future brickell tunnel…this shows that tunnels are safe and the bridge won’t be necessary, and the land could be developed as a park because YES…we need more trees!!! or could be destined to anything else but please no more condos.

4 years ago

“Please no more condos?”

So I guess you feel you have the God given right to tell people what to do with their money and when where and how to spend it, and what they ought to build on their very expensive property?

Worry about hurricanes, not some kind of building that you don’t like because people chose to buy a dwelling there and live in it.

4 years ago

Someone in particular owns the Brickell Bridge land? Didn’t know that.

4 years ago

“Someone in particular owns the Brickell Bridge land? Didn’t know that.”

He wrote “please no more condos.” That implies he has a distaste for condos no matter who builds them or where they’re built.

Please learn to comprehend a deeper meaning in what people say, I don’t feel like wasting my time to explain these things every time to you.

4 years ago

If you don’t care about buildings, development, architecture you are in wrong blog my friend. We are all sorry about hurricane but we need to somehow recover and move on.

Paul Lopez
4 years ago

Great work!! Miami Tunnel makes it happen!!!

4 years ago

Chris Hodgkins is a consummate professional. Well done Port of Miami Tunnel Team!

4 years ago

Great news! Now have the same people do the same thing for the tunnel between Brickell and Downtown. And don’t wait until 2040 to do it!