By The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.
BILOXI, Miss. —
“After the euphoria of winning an iconic contract comes the reality of delivering.”
That’s a quote from a CH2M Hill brochure.
In the case of the Port of Gulfport, it hasn’t delivered. The reality is it’s time to let CH2M Hill go.
The global consulting firm has been paid at least $16 million. Some reports have the number substantially higher.
It’s hard to understand how a company that is managing the expansion of the Panama Canal could so ill-advise the Mississippi Development Authority and the Mississippi State Port Authority on the way forward for the port. But it has.
For years, the Sun Herald and most of South Mississippi have been laboring under the impression the goal was to get the port ready for the bigger ships that would soon be sent our way by the expansion of the Panama Canal. ...
In fact, our Anita Lee was hard-pressed to find the 1,286 jobs the port says it has. And HUD wants 1,200 more jobs created to justify using the $547 million that was originally intended to build housing for low-income people.
The loftiest jobs figures, of course, were built on the assumption the port would have a 50-foot-deep channel.
In fact, the 16-mile-long channel is at a working depth of only 33 feet, shallower than it was before Katrina. ...
The MDA hired CH2M Hill in 2008 and transferred that contract to the MSPA in 2009. MSPA should cut our losses with CH2M Hill and move on.