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


December 2016 - Ron Coles Speaks at Latin American Congress of Ports

(Merida, Mexico) – Ron Coles of W. R. Coles and Associates spoke at the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) Latin American Congress of Ports in Merida, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, December 1, 2016. The 25th edition of the ports conference focused on Looking to the Future: The Agenda of Latin American Ports for the Next 25 Years. Coles, who represented the United States on a PIANC international working group that generated the publication Masterplans for the Development of Existing Ports in 2014, provided key points in long-term strategies for efficient port planning in today’s world. The congress brought together more than 400 industry leaders during four days of conferences.

Coles has been principal of W. R. Coles and Associates (WRCA) since 1990. WRCA provides professional services for planning, engineering design, and construction of inland river port, multimodal freight transportation, and economic development projects.

January 2016 - PIANC USA Appoints Coles as New US Commissioner
Alexandria, Virginia – January 7, 2016. PIANC USA just announced that Mr. Ron Coles of W. R. Coles and Associates in Nashville, Tenn., was appointed a Commissioner to the U.S. Section of the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC). He will serve a four-year term, which began on January 1, 2016. PIANC, headquartered in Brussels, is the forum in which professionals around the world join forces to provide expert advice on cost-effective, reliable, and sustainable infrastructures to facilitate the growth of waterborne transport.

The PIANC U.S. Section is administered by law under the auspices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The PIANC USA Commission is comprised of 11 members, including 3 ex-officio: Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), the USACE Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, and the Secretary, who is an employee of the USACE Institute for Water Resources. The other members include 3 elected and 5 appointed Commissioners. The responsibilities of the U.S. National Commission are to manage the activities of PIANC in such a manner as will best advance the purposes of United States maritime and inland waterway interests..

October 2014 - Owensboro Riverport Inaugurates New Dock
Owensboro, KY (Oct. 2014) - A group of prominent Kentucky political and business leaders attended a rope-cutting of the new $6.7 million cargo dock at the Owensboro Riverport. The rope was cut by Ed Riney, former president of the port. Attending was Ron Coles, principal at W. R. Coles and Associates, the firm which designed the master plan for the new general cargo dock and handled all the construction contracts. The dock is the longest on the Ohio River between Louisville and Paducah. Riverport officials hope the new greater throughput capacity will help double the cargo at the port within the next 10 to 20 years.

October 2014 - Ron Coles In International Working Group for Port Masterplan Report

Brussels, Belgium - The World Association for Waterborne Transportation Infrastructure (PIANC) has published a report titled Masterplans for the Development of Existing Ports, prepared by an international Working Group. The purpose of the report is to provide a comprehensive guide for the preparation of port masterplans. A masterplan establishes the policies and guidelines that direct the future development of a port and serves as a strategic tool for its competitiveness. Members of the Working Group included Ron Coles (USA); Stephen Cork, Nigel Bodell, and Peter Hunter (UK); Mathias Ludicke, Iven Kramer, and Oliver Schwarz (Germany); Sip Meijer and Sander Dekker (The Netherlands); Rafael Escutia (Spain); Brad Froyland (UAE); Pasquale Pizzimenti (Italy); Jason Sprott (Australia); and Herve Houis and Andre Merrien (France). The report will be available on the PIANC website (pianc.org) October 1, 2014. Ron Coles and Kathy Rhodes of WRCA in Nashville both contributed to the masterplan report.



June 2014 - Aberdeen Lock and Dam Named for Don Waldon of WRCA

"Columbus, MS - The U.S. Congress has recognized Don Waldon, a former Administrator of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority, and a long-time proponent of the waterway by renaming one of its locks and dams in his honor. The legislation . . . was included in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 that was signed by the President on Tuesday, June 10 . . . 'Don Waldon dedicated his career to the efficient and effective operation of the Tenn-Tom, and we're all better off for those efforts. The inland waterway is an economic asset for Mississippi that continues to foster economic opportunities throughout the region,' said Senator Thad Cochran . . . Waldon served as Administrator of the waterway's development authority from 1984 until he retired in 2005 . . . The designation of the Donald G. Waldon Lock and Dam will serve to continually remind Tenn Tom's users and beneficiaries of Waldon's legacy as a champion of the nation's inland waterways and his lasting contributions throughout his career." [Press Release from the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority]



June 2014 - Tenn-Tom Lock to be Named for WRCA Associate

Columbus, MS - A lock and dam in Aberdeen, MS, on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway will soon bear the name of longtime waterway administrator Donald G. Waldon. The designation of the lock and dam is part of a $12.3-billion water resources bill passed by Congress last week and now awaiting the signature of President Obama. Waldon served as deputy administrator of the waterway from 1975 until 1984, when he was appointed administrator of the Tenn-Tom Development Authority. He retired from that position in 2005.

The waterway is the largest water resource project ever built in the U.S. It has 10 locks and dams and 234 miles of navigation channels between the Tennessee River and Mobile, Alabama.


May 2014 - IRPT Elects New Officers

The Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals Association (IRPT) elected officers at its 2014 annual meeting in St. Louis, April 28-May 1. New officers include: President, Hugh McConnell, Director of Operation at The Port of Caddo-Bossier and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director of America’s Central Port. Ron Coles, Principal of W.R. Coles and Associates, was elected to the Board of Directors. IRPT is the trade association for the nation's inland waterway, port, and terminal professionals. Its mission is to be a resource for inland river ports, terminals and river-borne transportation services and to promote the value of the inland river transportation system to users and policy makers.


June 2013 - New Corps Deputy Commander for Civil Works

Major General Mike Walsh, the Corps of Engineers Deputy Commander for Civil Works since 2011, will retire October 1 and will be replaced by Major General John Peabody. Peabody has been serving as Commander of the Mississippi Valley Division in Vicksburg since 2011. He has also served as President of the Mississippi River Commission. He went to Mississippi from Ohio, where he was the Commander for the Corps Great Lakes and Ohio River Division.

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

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