Fort Lauderdale tunnel to fully reopen Friday after nearly 3 years of construction

Three years after upgrades began, the Henry E. Kinney Tunnel in Fort Lauderdale will reopen all four lanes of traffic on Friday, Florida Department of Transportation officials confirmed.

“Our crews are working diligently to complete the project,” FDOT spokesperson Grace Ducanis told the Miami Herald in an email. “As tunnel construction is nearing completion, much of the work has been ‘out of sight’ from the public.”

The project is anticipated to be completed in late summer, she said. The $28.4 million tunnel upgrades began in summer 2021 and were expected to be complete late last year, but weather delays and supply shortages pushed back the timeline.

The tunnel is one of two underwater tunnels in South Florida — the PortMiami tunnel from the MacArthur Causeway to Dodge Island is the other. The namesake of the Fort Lauderdale tunnel, which opened in 1960, was the founding editor of the Broward edition of the Miami Herald, Henry E. Kinney, who advocated for a tunnel to replace an old bridge across the New River. (It is also known as the New River tunnel.)

Upgrades to the tunnel include structural, mechanical, electrical and safety components, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. The state also is resurfacing a section of Federal Highway, U.S. 1.

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“The work involved crucial equipment upgrades such as to electrical systems, water pumps, and lighting within the various tunnel chambers and pump and ventilation rooms, which are all vital safety improvements,” Ducanis said.

Crews will also conduct the final wiring and testing of a computer-based system that gathers and analyzes real-time data to monitor and control equipment within the tunnel.

Ducanis said those upgrades “will extend the tunnel’s lifespan, improve safety, and enable 24-hour remote monitoring from our regional transportation management center in Broward County.”

The project is expected to be complete in late summer, with intermittent single-lane closures as needed.

Miami Herald reporter Grethel Aguila contributed to this report.