Piedroba heading to Savannah, partners with United States Army Corps of Engineers for fifth consecutive year of Dredging Fundamentals Course Wednesday
Piedroba today announced its 2015 class schedule for the Dredging Fundamentals Course held in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (The Corps). 2015 will mark the fifth consecutive year where the Corps has opted to partner with Piedroba in order to train those working on federal navigable waterway projects. Luis Prieto-Portar, PhD, PE, Piedroba’s Principal and Chairman will lead the team through classes in Savannah, GA, New Orleans, LA and Jacksonville, FL.
The Dredging Fundamentals Course is a partnership between Piedroba and The Corps’s Chief of Navigation & Operations Jeffrey McKee, and Corps Safety Manager Thomas Verna. During the week long class, the team will teach fundamental dredging theory and practice through lectures, field trips, group discussions, and examinations. The first class, to be held from February 2-6 in Savannah GA, will be entirely geared towards the Savannah Harbor Expansion Program (SHEP). With the Project Parntership Agreement (PPA) signed in October between the Corps and the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), and the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), SHEP is currently underway. The estimated $706 million project includes dredging and environmental mitigation costs, and the competitive bidding process for the early actions to deepen the harbor has started.
Dr. Prieto-Portar is looking forward to returning to Savannah for another class: “Two years ago we had the pleasure of teaching a first SHEP related Dredging Fundamentals Course in Savannah. We left being thoroughly impressed with the Savannah District’s leadership, and their proactive efforts to prepare their staff for SHEP. We are excited to return and working diligently to contribute to building and maintaining America’s infrastructure while maintaining environmental sustainability.”
About Piedroba Consulting Group:
Piedroba Consulting Group (PCG) is a Miami based marine infrastructure consultancy firm with an emphasis on dredging. Its efforts are mainly geared towards representing project stakeholders, usually the contract owner, on capital dredging work. PCG’s job is to ensure the timely completion of dredge work within budget, while mitigating any unnecessary risk factors or project liabilities. A total of $3 billion in total dredging projects and programs has been overseen by PCG. The firm specializes in comprehensive risk assessment, risk mitigation, and insightful problem solving.
Dredging Today caught up with Piedroba partners Jelle Prins and Luis Prieto y Munoz to discuss their 2014 business year, the company’s experiences as well as new developments that have marked the year.
Both partners agreed: "This year has been outstanding for both our company and the dredging industry as a whole. We added new clients to our portfolio, and have been working for Ports, the Federal Government, Contractors, and Cruise Lines.
There have been some positive developments in our industry. Both the passing of WRRDA (Water Resource Reform Development Act), as well as the exploration of attracting more private investment in water infrastructure in the U.S by means of WIFIA (Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act) are creating opportunities."
For the complete interview interview please click here:
Dr. Luis Prieto-Portar, Piedroba's Principal and CEO, recently was asked by Pile Buck Magazine to share the firm's experience on marine infrastructure projects. Piedroba, a marine infrastructure consultant, is often in a position to identify those approaches that make projects successful, and which processes cause conflict.
Incomplete or inaccurate geotechnical information will result in an unsuccessful project for both the Owner and the contractor. Some owners cut costs by providing minimal or incomplete geotechnical information, and expect the contractor to complete the investigation on their “own dime”. This “penny wise and pound foolish” ploy usually results in failed projects followed by litigation. Dr. Prieto-Portar further states: 'it is unfortunate that in our industry, the contractor’s knowledge is not commonly solicited for the design and preparation of the bid documents.'
The entire article can be found on page 28-30 of Pile Buck International Volume 30 Issue 4:
Piedroba president Luis Prieto-Muñoz was recently asked by South Florida's local channel 10 about the current status of the WRRDA, and its effect on Ports in South Florida, specifically Port Everglades. Prieto-Muñoz,said that although the new legislation focuses on the Corps studying ways to involve non-federal sponsors to a greater degree, the bill could benefit Port Everglades if it manages to complete the dredging project."If Port Everglades deepens [to 50-foot], the federal government would be responsible for 100 percent of the project's navigation maintenance cost," Prieto-Muñoz said.
Jelle Prins, in an interviewing with Dredging Today that was published May 17th, 2014 spoke about how WRRDA, and the deviation toward greater non-federal involvement in the maintenance, planning, and construction of federal waterway projects, as currently being used by his client PortMiami:
"The difficulties in obtaining project specific funding, a general lack of federal monies for waterways, and the looming expanded capacity of the Panama Canal have changed the dynamics of projects like the Miami Harbor Deepening.
PortMiami is a seminal example of this new trend, where the Corps remains the entity undertaking the responsibility of designing, planning, and administrating the project, but a Non-Federal Sponsor undertook all financial responsibilities in order to get the project constructed, and satisfy the emerging shipping needs."
Both articles can be found here:
Piedroba partners with United States Army Corps of Engineers for fourth consecutive year of Dredging Fundamentals Course
Piedroba today announced its 2014 class schedule for the Dredging Fundamentals Course held in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (The Corps). 2014 will mark the fourth consecutive year where The Corps has opted to partner up with Piedroba in order to train federal employees working on navigable waterway projects. Luis Prieto-Portar, PhD, PE, Piedroba’s Principal and Chief Executive Officer will lead the team through classes in New Orleans, LA and Philadelphia, PA.
The Dredging Fundamentals Course is a partnership between Piedroba and The Corps’s Chief of Navigation & Operations Jeffrey McKee, and Corps Safety Manager Thomas Verna. During the week long class, the team will teach fundamental dredging theory and practice through lectures, field trips, group discussions, and examinations. Subject matters include: ‘Overview of Corps Dredging Program, Design of Corps Navigation Projects’, Types of Dredges in the United States Dredging Market, Hydraulic and Mechanical Dredging, Dredging Safety, Environmental Dredging, Corps Scheduling and Estimating, and Corps Contact Administration.
The New Orleans session will be held from April 14-18, and the Philadelphia session will be held June 23-27. The exact location of the classes will be determined at a later date.
About the United States Army Corps of Engineers:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (The Corps) has approximately 34,000 dedicated Civilians and Soldiers delivering engineering services to customers in more than 90 countries worldwide. With environmental sustainability as a guiding principle, the disciplined Corps team is working diligently to strengthen our Nation’s security by building and maintaining America’s infrastructure and providing military facilities where our service members train, work and live.
The Corps is also researching and developing technology for our war fighters while protecting America’s interests abroad by using our engineering expertise to promote stability and improve quality of life. The Corps energizes the economy by dredging America’s waterways to support the movement of critical commodities and providing recreation opportunities at campgrounds, lakes and marinas. And by devising hurricane and storm damage reduction infrastructure, reducing risks from disasters.
The men and women of the Corps are protecting and restoring the Nation’s environment including critical efforts in the Everglades, the Louisiana coast, and along many of our Nation’s major waterways. The Corps is also cleaning sites contaminated with hazardous, toxic or radioactive waste and material in an effort to sustain the environment.
Piedroba announced today it will be presenting at the 2014 Dredging & Reclamation Summit in Miami, Florida. Mr. Luis Prieto y Munoz M.A., president of the firm, will share his thoughts on the new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and its affect on the dredging industry. The event will be held from March 31-April 1 at a location yet to be confirmed by the host.
Mr. Prieto y Munoz will discuss how WRDA 2013 will affect Capital Dredging Projects, covering the anticipated changes related to funding dynamics, the role of the Non-Federal Sponsor, partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (The Corps), dredge project development, and other relevant subject matters.
The 2014 Dredging & Reclamation Summit will cover subject matters as: ;navigating the appropriations and contracting process', 'evaluating the results of Net Economic Development Benefits (NED)', 'working with the US Army Corps of Engineers', as well as identifying how to implement strategic plans to outline the growth of ports by improving container traffic.
Piedroba Consulting Group (PCG) is a Miami based international technical consultancy firm specializing in dredging. As a dredging consultant, its efforts are mainly geared towards representing the Non-Federal Sponsor on capital or maintenance dredging work. PCG is currently retained by PortMiami as the technical consultant for the $200 Million PortMiami Deep Dredge.
Odebrecht Construction has shared its appreciation for Piedroba Consulting Group's technical consultancy work done on the Fort Lauderdale Airport runway extension project.
Senior Project Manager for Odebrecht Construction Rudy Armenta stated: "It truly is a pleasure having you as part of our team. Our entire firm, from top to bottom, has been impressed with your firm’s geotechnical expertise and spectacularly efficient responsiveness and product delivery. Piedroba Consulting Group has added far more to Odebrecht’s operation than simply fulfilling your role as a technical consultant, with its assistance in keeping the project on time and within budget".
Piedroba Consulting Group's President Luis Prieto y Munoz is thankful for the opportunity: "Odebrecht is a world class player, and we look forward to continue to partner up with them on major projects for years to come".To view Odebrecht Construction's Letter of Recommendation click on the link below
PortMiami hires Piedroba Consulting Group as a technical dredging consultant for the Port of Miami Deep Dredge Project.
Piedroba Consulting Group, a company based in Miami, Florida, announced today it has been contracted by the Miami-Dade County Seaport (PortMiami) to perform professional services on Port of Miami Deep Dredge Project. It will be Piedroba’s responsibility to provide strategic, contract administrative, and technical opinions. The deep dredge project includes the restoration of more than 16 acres of sea grass in northern Biscayne Bay and the creation of over nine acres of artificial reef.
“PortMiami is pleased to have the Piedroba Consulting Group as part of the team for our Deep Dredge Project,” said PortMiami Director Bill Johnson. “The deepening of the Port’s channel is a critical element in growing our container cargo business. We are committed to a timeline that will ensure completion of the project in mid-2015, in tandem with the opening of the expanded Panama Canal.”
The current project will turn PortMiami into the only U.S. East Coast Port south of Virginia to be at the authorized minus 50 feet level in anticipation of the new generation of larger container cargo vessels arriving via the Panama Canal. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the award of a $122 million contract for the first part of the project earlier this spring, and dredging is expected to begin later this year.
Piedroba’s CEO and Chairman, Dr. Luis Prieto-Portar, PhD, PE, is excited about the new opportunity: “PortMiami is a world class port, and we look forward to partnering with them on this high profile project. We also welcome the opportunity to partner again with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with whom we have a history of sharing our dredging expertise through our joint educational services provided under the Dredging Fundamentals Course. Many with whom we will be working have gone through our classes.”
Jelle Prins, one of Piedroba’s partners added: “The Deep Dredge Project is a special project funded in a unique way, and with all the partners we look to maximize the public investment made. We are committed to optimizing project delivery, ensuring this state of the art project will keep PortMiami ahead of the game.”
The Port of Miami is one of the busiest ports in the United States, and one of the most significant economic generators for South Florida. Through its cargo and cruise activities, the Port has determined that it contributes over $18 billion annually to the South Florida economy and helps provide direct and indirect employment for over 176,000 individuals.
Piedroba is pleased to announce it has been invited to present its paper on the depreciation of dredging equipment during the 33rd annual WEDA conference, and 44th Texas A&M Dredging Seminar August 25-28th in Hawaii. This paper briefly examines the misuse of depreciation of equipment in the US dredging industry. Contractors are prone to keep older equipment in order to “lower my bid with a dredge that is fully written off”. Distinction is made between the dredge’s market value (never zero) which is a cost versus its book value which is a charge. Confusing these two has led some small and medium contractors to be unable to replace their older low-productivity dredges with modern dredges suitable to changing market demands. The paper provides examples clarify depreciation.
WEDA is a Member of The World Organization of Dredging Associations (WODA). The WEDA region covers North, Central and South America. The Central Dredging Association (CEDA) covers most of Europe, Africa, and the Mid and Near East. The Eastern Dredging Association (EADA) covers the Far East and Pacific region. The three organizations constitute WODA with equal representation. The goals and objectives are common for each of the three organizations; however operations to attain these are independently carried out.
SFWMD manages an extensive, heavily utilized 2,000 mile long canal network and several surface-water impoundments totaling more than 1,000 square miles. Dredging is a vital component that allows SFWMD to carry out its mission to maintain South Florida’s water systems, and ensuring safe and efficient conveyance through its watershed. Since the creation of a Lake Okeechobee outlet to the Gulf in 1882, dredging has been crucial in sustaining its navigability.
The dredging of lake bottoms to create navigation canals, the filling of surface lakes for land reclamation and building construction, environmental dredging, and maintenance dredging of South Florida’s canal system and rivers have contributed to sustaining the region’s growing population, economy, and environment. The sizeable accumulation of sedimentation in their canal over the years have SFWMD policy makers concerned today, as the lack of dredging is presenting a threat to the SFWMD accomplishing its mission.
Piedroba was contracted in March to commence a dredging feasibility study that would allow Piedroba to assist SFWMD with identifying different options to meet their extensive dredging need for decades to come. Piedroba's principal Dr. Luis Prieto-Portar is enthusiastic about continuing a relationship with SFWMD: 'Throughout my career I have worked closely with SFWMD, and I always enjoyed their innovative approach to obtaining there mission. We are appreciative of being part of their team once again, and we look forward to being of service'.
SFWMD is a regional governmental agency that oversees the water resources in the southern half of the state, covering 16 counties from Orlando to the Florida Keys and serving a population of 7.7 million residents. It is the oldest and largest of the states five water management districts. Created in 1949, the agency is responsible for managing and protecting water resources of South Florida by balancing and improving water quality, flood control, natural systems and water supply. A key initiative is the restoration of America's Everglades – the largest environmental restoration project in the nation's history. SFWMD is also working to improve the Kissimmee River and its floodplain, Lake Okeechobee and South Florida's coastal estuaries