The Times-Standard Saturday, April 13, 2002

Contract for Port of Humboldt Bay plan awarded
By John Driscoll

        A panel of harbor-side agencies awarded a contract to work up a revitalization plan for the Port of Humboldt Bay to a Portland, Ore., firm which will hire a local group to assist. At its meeting Thursday, the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Board of Commissioners said that PB Ports and Marine will draw up the plan at a cost of $343,000. PB will work with local firm Winzler and Kelley Consulting Engineers in drafting the plan that will look at ways to meet the port's commercial potential.

PB was chosen out of nine competing firms by an 11-member panel. The panel is made up of representatives of the harbor district, Eureka, Humboldt County, Humboldt County Association of Governments, the North Coast Railroad Association and Caltrans. District executive director David Hull said deciding between the applicants was not easy.

"I'm very confident they're going to come up with some good stuff," Hull said. The portion of the plan that looks at railroad development must be complete by the end of June, when a Caltrans grant runs out. The remainder of the plan is scheduled to be done in December. Following a California Environmental Quality Act process, the public will be able to comment on the draft and final documents, after which the 11-member panel will adopt the plan.

Hull said the plan will lay out ways to implement its ideas, outlining issues like where to get money for projects, and proposed land use changes. The harbor district will fold the plan into its capital improvement plan, Hull said. Hull said the panel sought out contractors will worldwide experience and said that an outside perspective on the port's capability would be welcome.