We have on several occasions discussed the major infrastructure projects currently under construction at PortMiami, and how the port is a prime location for public-private partnerships (P3s) in the coming years.

Seaport To Play Key Role in Miami’s Economy

Last week, RCA Miami hosted a conference that included a presentation by Kevin Lynskey from PortMiami on the importance to the Miami economy of the seaport and, in particular, the Port of Miami Tunnel P3 project.  A recent article in the South Florida Business Journal further confirms that the seaport will play an expanded role in Miami’s economy.  The article explains that the ongoing improvements at the port to accommodate the larger post-Panamax ships that will soon be traversing the Panama Canal will give Miami a competitive edge shared by only three other cities on the East Coast: New York, Norfolk, and Baltimore, the nearest of which is nearly 1000 miles away.

New Potential Transportation P3s

Although the infrastructure improvements at the port and resulting increases in cargo and cruise traffic will help ensure that the port will be home to some very substantial, high-value public-private developments in the near future, it is important not to let the incredible changes and opportunities at the port distract us from the many opportunities for beneficial public-private partnerships in other areas.  Recently, for example, “SkyLink,” a proposed aerial, cable-propelled public transportation system connecting Miami Beach to the mainland, has attracted the attention of Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson, for a potential public-private partnership.  This is a technology that has been successfully utilized in other cities, such as the Roosevelt Island Tramway in New York, but has not yet made its way to Miami.  Last month, however, the County Commission awarded a design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM) P3 contract for a cable-driven airport people mover utilizing similar technology, which will perhaps pave the way for SkyLink or other novel transportation P3s in the area.