Southeast Florida’s infrastructure is one of its primary tools for supporting its economic vision. Airports and seaports serve as global gateways for trade and tourism. Highways, rail lines, and waterways connect these gateways and Southeast Florida’s businesses to markets in other parts of Florida and to other states. These modes of transportation, along with highcapacity communications systems and efficient, reliable energy systems all support the innovation clusters the region is targeting. Transit systems, streets, trails, and sidewalks help build vibrant urban centers that attract residents, workers, and visitors.
Southeast Florida is at the beginning of a fundamental transformation system to meet the needs of a 21st century economy:
- Seaports and airports are preparing for anticipated growth in global trade and tourism through major projects including the deep dredge, tunnel, and on-dock rail service at Port Miami, and the runway extension at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport;
- Plans for the All Aboard Florida passenger rail service from Miami to Orlando and the Tri-Rail Coastal Service from Jupiter to Miami are moving the region toward a more integrated multimodal transportation system for moving residents and visitors; and
- The success of the tolled express lanes on I-95 in Miami Dade and Broward County is prompting plans for managed lanes on other highways and spurring more focus on the modernization of the region’s highway system.
Southeast Florida must continue this recent innovation and reinvestment in its transportation system over the next SO years to meet its evolving needs of residents, visitors, and businesses. Key needs will include:
- Continuing to expand the physical and operational capacity of airports and seaports;
- Continuing to build out a network of passenger rail and transit systems connecting major urban centers;
- Modernizing the region’s highways to reduce bottlenecks and improve long-distance flows of visitors and freight,
- including connections to other regions of Florida;
- Providing seamless connections between the modes of transportation for both people and freight; and
- Developing an advanced communications system to provide information connectivity across the region.
Equally important is the need to develop world class sites for a range of industries, including intermodal logistics centers, state of the art research and technology facilities, and continued expansion of education and research institutions. Economic development and marketing activities would benefit from a regional inventory of shovel-ready or potentially available sites. The region’s local governments should consider strategic land use decisions to preserve land for economic development purposes and to align with infrastructure and other investment decisions.