Does Bouygues, Contractor on the $1 Billion Port of Miami Tunnel, Have a $1 Million Yacht?

These are dangerous times for the conspicuously wealthy. Overtaxed voters just threw out BMW-driving county mayor Carlos Alvarez. The outrage over George Burgess's $500,000 severance package is still palatable.

But nothing brings out the pitchforks quicker than a public works boondoggle. So is it any surprise that Bouygues Civil Works of Florida, the contractor hired to dig the $1 billion Port of Miami tunnel, is keeping quiet about its sweet 52-foot yacht?

A tipster sent us this photo and claimed the Sea Ray Sedan Bridge 500 belongs to Bouygues, the French company infamous for damaging wetlands and destroying mangroves on Virginia Key earlier this month.

Florida Yachts International broker Nicolas Guitard quoted Riptide a cool half-million when we asked the going rate of the 2004 cruiser. But at least one website lists a base price of $1,012,666 for the boat, at least when new.

Bouygues spokeswoman Luz Weinberg told us she couldn't comment about the boat aside from insisting it wasn't bought with public funds.

"The contractor has a private boat just for private events," Tunnel Project spokesperson Liz Fernandez echoed. "It has nothing to do with the project at all."

That's all fine and well, but a $1 million private yacht doesn't look too good when the public is already worried about the ridiculous price tag of a largely unnecessary project.

Of course, Riptide asked for a ride on the yacht, but our request was denied. Here's a larger photo of Bouygues's sweet sea ride, supposedly docked somewhere in Coconut Grove:

We can only imagine that Bouygues execs sing this song as they parade around Biscayne Bay with a bunch of models, champagne, and nautical-themed pashmina afghans:

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.