Long Beach Harbor Engineering Department Restructuring Discussed

Long Beach Harbor Engineering Department Restructuring Discussed

LONG BEACH — At a Long Beach Harbor Commission meeting, Bruce Stephan of PMA Consultants, a private consulting firm hired by the city, presented five options for restructuring the Long Beach Harbor Engineering Department for greater efficiency.
Options 1, 2 and 3 are based on of the original structure, with no major reorganization of the department required. The first option, which was the least disruptive, would retain the original structure — but for the railroad engineering department, Stephan suggested that the department could be merged with program management.

In Option 2, all designs would be done under one design group. Option 3 would use that same group, with the addition of single program managers taking responsibility for individual programs from concept to close, Stephan said.

Options 4 and 5 are based around project-centralized program delivery. Functional groups would be arranged by employee skill sets, and workers would be chosen based on project needs, Stephan explained. Option 5 is essentially the same as Option 4, with two differences: Projects would be classified as revenue-gaining and non-revenue-gaining.

“One of the main differences in the alternative designs provided is that they do not offer separate program management and construction management,” said acting executive director Al Moro. “The early thought on that is, that it reserves a system of checks and balances. Through the life of a project, there’s clearly the design perspective, and there’s also a construction management perspective. With a series of checks and balances, they sort of test each other through the entire project.”

One of the major goals is to offer relief to the chief harbor engineer, Harbor Commissioner Rich Dines said. “The port is going through an unprecedented $4.5 million capital improvement plan, and I think the chief harbor engineer has enough on his plate — being the assistant manager of engineering and overseeing the different divisions, and having all of these projects, on top of that.
“The chief harbor engineer, in my opinion, should be able to do the management over the divisions, and specifically that’s why I like Option 5. We’ve got our non-revenue-producing projects like the Gerald Desmond Bridge, and we’ve got the revenue-producing projects like middle bay.”

No plan was voted on, and the projected date for a choosing a restructuring of the port’s engineering bureau has been extended.

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