River Port Planning, Economic Development & Engineering Design / Construction    
PO Box 159266, Nashville, TN 37215 phone: 615-712-9755 fax: 615-246-4129    

W.R. Coles and Associates

Ron Coles

After working for two large international companies, Ron Coles founded WRCA in 1990 to focus on port and economic development projects. Coles' understanding comes from 46 years of experience, completion of 191 port projects around the country for a variety of clients, and leadership positions in national, international, and regional waterways transportation and trade organizations, including:

  • Commissioner; US Section, PIANC - World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure
  • Board of Directors, Past-president; Inland Rivers Ports and Terminals (IRPT)
  • Past Treasurer and Executive Committee; National Waterways Conference, Inc. (NWC)
  • President; Tennessee River Valley Association (TRVA)
  • Board of Directors (Governor appointee); Tenn-Tom Waterway Development Authority
  • Past Member; TRB AW020 Inland Waterway Committee
  • Alternate US Representative (appointed by General Don Riley); international PIANC Inland Navigation Committee

Ron Coles represented the U.S. on an international working group for The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC) that published a report titled Masterplans for the Development of Existing Ports, released in October 2014. The report provides a comprehensive guide for the preparation of masterplans. In addition to the U.S., other countries represented on the working group included the UK, South Africa, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy and Germany. Currently, Coles is serving on an international working group assigned to complete the technical report Site Selection and Planning for New Ports and Specialist Marine Terminals on Greenfield Sites.

WRCA clients have included:

  • Local public port authorities and private sector port owners/operators
  • State port authorities and state DOTs
  • Wood products, chemical, steel, minerals, power and cement companies
  • Barge lines and railroads
  • The US Army Corps of Engineers, USDOT, and other federal agencies


(In 2005, after fifteen years of successful operations, WRCA merged for three years (2005-2008) with a larger firm. At the end of 2008, the two firms separated, and WRCA once again operates as an independent entity, providing specialized services for port, multimodal transportation and economic development projects. During the past nine years, WRCA has provided services for about 60 port projects, including private industry barge terminals, intermodal cargo transfer facilities, port feasibility and operations analyses, public transportation policy studies, river port permitting, engineering design and construction management for new river ports and expansions of existing river terminal facilities.)



W.R. Coles and Associates Mailing Address: PO Box 159266 Nashville, TN 37215 Delivery Address: 1045 Gateway Lane Nashville, TN 37220 Phone: 615-712-9755

Maintained by W. R. Coles