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MIA Mover

MIA Mover, Miami International Airport, Florida

MIA Mover - Miami International Airport, Florida

Automated People Mover

To increase capacity, enhance efficiency and safety, reduce delays, and modernize facilities, the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners adopted a master plan for Miami International Airport (MIA). A pivotal element of this plan was construction of an offsite ground transportation hub, the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) and an automated people mover to transport passengers and airport workers between the MIC and the main airport terminal.

Parsons–Odebrecht Joint Venture (POJV) was selected to implement the project, known as the MIA Mover, under a design, build, operate, and maintain (DBOM) contract. The MIA Mover runs on a 1.25-mile elevated guideway between two stations, one existing and one new. The Parsons-led joint venture was responsible for taking the project from conceptual design to completion of construction. Through a subcontract, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries installed the operating system and is responsible for operations and maintenance.

Consolidating the project under a single contract simplified project oversight for the owner, Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD). It also allowed POJV to work all elements together, shortening the schedule by 25%—to 3 years instead of 4 years if executed under separate contracts.

Elevated guideways 40 ft above grade fly over the airport’s roadway system.

Elevated guideways 40 ft above grade fly over the airport’s roadway system.

System Highlights

  • Capacity of more than 3,000 passengers per hour each way; the system can be expanded to 10,000 per hour each way.
  • Rolling stock consists of eight state-of-the-art Crystal Mover vehicles.
  • Top speed of 40 miles per hour transports passengers between the main terminal station and the MIC station in about 4 minutes.
  • 1.25-mile dual elevated guideways enable simultaneous travel in both directions.

The MIA Mover’s driverless system uses proven technology to combine vehicle operation, train control, station and platform doors, power distribution, and communications. Vehicles are self-propelled and run on tires rather than rails. The MIA Mover eliminates a dramatic number of passenger vehicles from the airport’s roads, reducing carbon emissions by 30% and improving traffic safety.

The design of the station at the main terminal incorporates the people mover’s maintenance and storage facility within a single structure, an innovation that saves developable real estate that MDAD can use for other purposes, creates operating and maintenance efficiencies, and provided significant construction cost savings.

Maintaining Airport Access and Safety

MIA Station was constructed between two parking garages and is connected to the airport’s main terminal via moving walkways. Through careful coordination with airport landside operations, POJV built the new structures while maintaining public access to the garages and area roadways.

The project’s outstanding safety program was recognized in August 2011 when MIA Mover was awarded Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star status from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It was the first construction site in Florida to qualify for the award.

MIA’S First LEED Project

In the project’s early stages, POJV developed a program to meet MDAD’s goal of making the MIA Mover the airport’s first LEED-certified project. Certification is anticipated in November 2011. The team engaged stakeholders and the community to collaboratively develop design and construction practices to ensure that the project serves as a local benchmark for sustainability. These features reduced the project’s carbon footprint and modeled conscientious building practices:

  • Recycled 75% of the construction debris
  • Installed glazed windows to reduce the transmission of thermal energy
  • Reduced water consumption by 30%
  • Generated minimum energy cost savings of 14% by increasing energy efficiency and decreasing electricity use
  • Purchased renewable energy credits equivalent to at least 70% of the station's energy consumption for the first two years
  • Allocated parking spaces for low-emitting vehicles
  • Included bike racks and changing rooms for operating staff

The pursuit of LEED certification added value without delaying the construction schedule—and MIA Station will have the distinction of becoming the first mass transit project in Miami-Dade County to be LEED-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The project also embraced local and small business participation by pumping $35 million into the local community through subcontracts with local small businesses.

The MIA Mover opened to the public September 9, 2011—on time and under budget. Parsons, in joint venture with Odebrecht Construction Inc., has successfully managed and constructed more than $2.2 billion worth of work at MIA over the past decade. Currently, POJV serves as the managing contractor at-risk on the North Terminal Development project at MIA. Previously the team was construction manager at-risk for the airport’s new South Terminal in 2007.