The Miami Beach Monorail Consortium says global infrastructure investment firm Meridiam has joined as an investment partner.
The monorail project proponents say that Meridiam, with more than eight billion in assets around the globe, successfully completed the Port of Miami Tunnel on time, after taking over the project in the midst of the recession. “This landmark sustainable and resilient infrastructure was delivered by a workforce of 7,000 people, 83 percent of which came from the local community,” the developers say.
The consortium’s monorail would connect Downtown Miami and Miami Beach, aleviating traffic congestion on the MacArthur Causeway, the developers say.
“We are excited with the possibility of delivering another cutting-edge infrastructure project in Miami that will serve the community for decades to come,” Jamie Rubin, CEO of Meridiam Infrastructure North America Corp., said in a statement.
“We have submitted a proposal that we hope meets all Miami-Dade County’s requirements to bring a much-needed public transit solution that will connect two of Miami’s most important hubs for residents, tourists and businesses. After the Port of Miami, it will be another sustainable and impactful infrastructure for Miami, dedicated to improving the quality of people’s lives”
The consortium has proposed a monorail for the County’s Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) plan Beach Corridor to connect Miami Beach and Miami.
“In December 2019, Miami-Dade County’s Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) approved the findings of the Parsons Study, which underscored the elevated rubber tire technology as the best option for the Beach Corridor,” the statement said. “The monorail is one kind of elevated rubber tire technology, which will help create efficiency in moving people between the two destinations, while also generating thousands of jobs for its construction.”
“The success of the Port of Miami Tunnel would not have been possible without a strong partnership with hundreds of Miami companies with local knowledge,” said Christopher Hodgkins, Chief Executive Officer for Port of Miami Tunnel. “Meridiam can now utilize the expertise gained through the Tunnel project to once again hire local workers and companies who will help deliver the monorail safely and efficiently.”
Meridiam joins existing Consortium partners Genting and Aqualand Development, which submitted an unsolicited proposal in 2019 that was the springboard for a public Request For Proposals (RFP) currently being conducted by the County. The Consortium says it has submitted a proposal with further details on its approach in response to that RFP.
Miami-Dade County is considering whether to go with the monorail idea, or to extend the Metromover rail system to South Beach.
Miami-Dade’s Transportation Department, which hired Parsons and supervised the $10 million study funded with state and local dollars, has recommending that a board of county and city leaders not pick between monorail and Metromover, the Miami Herald reported in January..
The agency wanted the Transportation Planning Organization to simply endorse an elevated “rubber-wheel” train running between Miami and Miami Beach, a generic option that covers Metromover and monorail.