The Port of Houston Authority Commission
on Monday held a workshop to hear presentations by Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation, Klotz Associates and Moffatt & Nichol, the short list of firms that responded to a request for qualifications for Barbours Cut Terminal Program Management Services.
Senior PHA Vice President James Jackson, head of engineering and real estate, opened the meeting and introduced the port’s screening team, led by Husam Shilu.
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“Our retrofit project is a big project,” Jackson said. “We’re going to be basically stiffening the docks out there at the Barbours Cut Terminal, we’ll probably be putting in container yards and we are going to be bringing in higher power for the new cranes that we will be anticipating putting in out there.”
PHA CEO Alec Dreyer said that the process is different from previous RFQ decisions in that staff will make a recommendation to the port commission on the ranking of the firms, but the commission may choose another firm if it wishes. Port staff will negotiate with the top ranked firm.
The firms were called in alphabetical order, with Dannenbaum first. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
“Dannenbaum has a long history with the port,” said Colonel Len Waterworth, president and CEO, who listed projects that the company has done at the port. “Care Terminal, Barbours, even Bayport and our Phase One Wharf that we recently completed, which we take great pride in.”
David Milner, who Dannenbaum designated as program manager, cited his past experience as a qualification for this project, including the Katy Freeway project and work at other ports.
“Nine years of my life have been spent on the Katy Freeway as the program manager,” he said, citing similarities between the projects. “The Katy Freeway was completed three months ahead of schedule and was on budget.”
Klotz Associates was second to make a presentation. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
“We begin, not by just looking at the project,” said Wayne Klotz, president of the firm, listing the members of his team and the associates who will assist in the project and citing past work for the port. “The project that we did at Bayport, the first container yard terminal, did win a gold medal award.”
“We want to open Wharf Number One by August, 2014, which is a couple of months before the Panama Canal is opened in 2014,” said Klotz Program Manager Bill Abbott, noting the goals of the port included in the RFQ. “Fortunately we have the institutional knowledge of this site and we have the already established relationships with you, the port, to be able to start immediately into the details of master planning.”
Moffatt & Nichol was the final firm to make a presentation. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
“This is a port project, and we are a port firm,” said John Menge, head of development for Moffatt & Nichol. “We are in fact the largest port firm, the largest engineering and planning firm in the United States that focuses primarily on goods movement and ports.”
Jonathan Thomas, head of the Houston office of Moffatt & Nichol, who has been designated project manager for the Barbours Cut project, reviewed the team that will be working on the project.
“All of these individuals all have working knowledge of the port and we’ve organized our team into basically design management support services (and) construction management,” Thomas said.
Following the presentations, the commission held a brief discussion of the three firms.
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“I would characterize it as it’s going to be a choice of A, B or C – apples, oranges, pears – because they each bring a little bit different skill set and experience,” Dreyer said, noting the differences. “Dannenbaum in particular, the program manager had some very significant project experience, particularly in going from 50 to 100 foot gage and then also that Port Elizabeth APM Terminal, I thought was very apropos. The Klotz folks have significant experience, I guess at Bayport, and so one of the issues for us will be weighing the impacts on Bayport of that experience relative to Barbours Cut, because I think they are a little bit apples and oranges. And then Moffatt & Nichol’s deep experience, historically deep experience, with Barbours Cut provides some unique advantages.”
Five of the seven members of the commission were present at the meeting. Only Janeice Longoria and Kase Lawal were absent.