VIDEO: Port Canaveral’s First-Class Infrastructure Built On Great Staff, Teamwork
By Port Canaveral Magazine // August 22, 2016
ABOVE VIDEO: Spotlight on port facilities, construction and engineering at Port Canaveral.
BREVARD COUTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – For any seaport, modern functional infrastructure is a core factor in sustaining competitiveness and maintaining and creating business opportunities. Port Canaveral has $93 million in major infrastructure construction projects currently under way to support its world-class cruise business and elevate its profile in the growing international cargo industry.
To reduce costs, maximize efficiency and get the best results for its investments, the Port relies on top-notch management of the design/construction process and financing arrangements.
Managing the Process Bill Crowe, P.E., became the Port’s Senior Director of Facilities, Construction and Engineering earlier this year.
A 19-year veteran of civil/coastal engineering and construction management with a breadth of experience in major port operations (Miami and Houston) and project implementation, Crowe manages one of the Port’s largest departments, with roughly 70 employees handling maintenance, landscaping, line handling, environmental activities, code enforcement, engineering and construction management.
He particularly is proud of positive changes he has helped bring about in his construction and engineering group.
“We are a service-oriented group,” according to Crowe.
“It’s our team’s task to turn over the best possible project to our end users and every team member has this as their primary goal. I put a high value on the attitude our team brings to every project: We all love building big projects and what better place to do this than on the water here at Port Canaveral.”
Crowe has implemented a project team approach to improve efficiency and results. “Once a project has been identified, we have one individual to manage the process from cradle to grave — through project definition, design, bidding, procurement and construction. This ensures good communication and continuity is maintained throughout.”
Crowe meets once a week with his management staff: Albert Jendroch, Director of Maintenance; Bob Musser, Director of Environmental; and staff members Tom Foxhoven, Maureen Whitford, Patrick Hammond, Verónica Narváez-Lugo and Diane Gray.
Crowe believes “the other important factor in producing a facility that is best suited for its intended use is stakeholder input. We don’t design in a vacuum. We get input as soon as possible from Port cruise and cargo operations, harbormaster and the Real Estate Department.
Managing the Cost of Money
For every project, such as the recently completed Cruise Terminal 5 renovation, each piece of the financing structure — short-term lines of credit, long-term bank financing and bond issues — is chosen and timed with great care to minimize borrowing costs and keep
debt repayment expenses at a level that optimizes the Port Authority’s financial stability and flexibility.
As Port Deputy Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Rodger Rees explained, “For example, we can draw as needed from a low-cost line of credit during the construction phase to avoid paying interest on funds before we need them and access 15- to 20-year fixed-rate bank financing to pay down the line of credit when the project is complete.
This strategy saved us about $700,000 in interest on the Cruise Terminal 5 project and we expect to save a similar amount on the renovation of Cruise Terminal 10.
“The end game is to tie all the projects together into 30-year bond financing. However, we keep some financing with the banks because it’s easier than bonds to pay off early — again, to reduce financing costs — with large inflows of cash like grants or off-site property sales.”
Current Major Infrastructure Projects
The Port Authority currently has projects in progress that will accommodate upcoming contracted business, set the stage for new business activity, improve Port efficiency and enhance the experience of Port
In addition, infrastructure is being evaluated port-wide, cataloging any issues that will need to be addressed to keep the Port functioning efficiently and competitively.
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