Skip to Content
Main Content

Request for Proposals (RFP) Announced for Capital Asset Renewal Plan


The mission of Port Milwaukee is to enhance the overall economic and social environment of the City of Milwaukee and the region by stimulating trade, business, and employment. Consistent with the Port’s water-related location, the Port shall strive to be a premier provider of transportation and distribution services for its commercial customers while also supporting public recreation, leisure, and other uses the Port deems to be in the public interest.

Port Milwaukee administers operations on 467 acres of land owned by the City of Milwaukee. The Port promotes trade and commerce throughout the region by providing access to domestic and international shipping, rail, and over-the-road transportation on its South Harbor Tract.

Recreational and public access offerings on the Port’s North Harbor Tract include Harbor House Restaurant, the Discovery World Museum, and the Henry Maier Festival Grounds, as operated by Milwaukee World Festivals. The Port is also a destination for passenger ships and maintains operations of two cruise docks (Pier Wisconsin and South Shore) and sustains the Lake Express high speed ferry service between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Michigan.

The Port is also responsible for administration of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-approved Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) on its premises for the safe storage of sediment; the extension of and beneficial reuse of the CDF once capped is a component of the Port’s strategic long-term vision.

By and large, Port Milwaukee assets are several decades old and have been repaired on an ad hoc basis leading to consistent degradation and deterioration. Given limited public funding, deferred maintenance needs at the Port are significant. As such, the Port seeks to establish a new Capital Asset Renewal Plan (CARP) to comprehensively address deficiencies in port facilities and infrastructure and establish a new maintenance schedule. The CARP should position the Port for future growth and include a diagnosis of the planned, cyclical refurbishment of its assets to maintain a perpetual state of good repair. Further, the CARP should identify deferred maintenance needs, including the replacement of Port assets which have or will very shortly exceed their useful life.

The Port will utilize the CARP to strategically manage needed, substantial improvements and to provide the Port with a funding strategy for long-term asset repair and replacement. Overall capital asset management provides the Port and the City of Milwaukee with a consistent infrastructure planning approach and a fiscal strategy for the future while, at the same time, protecting public investment at the Port. The most recent Facilities Condition Assessment Program (FCAP) report of Port assets, as completed by the City of Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works, was finalized in August 2012.

In establishing a CARP, the Port’s primary objective is to maintain a long-term, multi-year plan for ongoing, strategic reinvestment across the entirety of the Port commercial and recreational facilities.


The CARP should be consistent with other applicable, publicly available recommendations and plans as previously approved by the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin, including:

  • City of Milwaukee Office of the Comptroller Capital Asset Audit Findings
    (Forthcoming, early October 2020)
  • Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) Extension Plan
  • Grand Trunk Wetland Restoration Plan
  • Harbor District Water and Land Use Plan
  • Milwaukee Area of Concern (AOC) Remediation Plan
  • Port of Milwaukee Redevelopment Plan
  • Wisconsin Department of Administration, Coastal Management Grant Requirements
  • Wisconsin Stormwater Management Requirements


  • Announcement of RFP: September 11, 2020
  • Due date of RFP Responses:
    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (Central) via email to [email protected].
  • Internal Port Review of RFP Responses: September 28, 2020 – October 5, 2020
  • Notification of Selectee by Port: October 6, 2020
  • Public Announcement of Selection at Board of Harbor Commissioners Meeting: October 8, 2020
  • Final contract negotiations between selectee and Port Milwaukee:
    October 9, 2020 – October 23, 2020
  • External Review of Selectee by Wisconsin Department of Administration: October 26, 2020 – November 6, 2020
  • Project Start: November 16, 2020
  • First draft delivery: March 12, 2021 (to coincide with City of Milwaukee 2022 Budget Planning)
  • Final draft delivery: December 31, 2021


To address multiple issues, all Port-owned and -operated components, assets, and facilities must be included in the CARP:

  • Buildings, Terminals and Warehouses
  • Dockwalls
  • Dredging
  • Fencing
  • Green Infrastructure and Public Access Space
  • Lighting
  • Pavement and Roads
  • Rail
  • Utilities
  • Vehicles, Vessels, Cranes, and Other Equipment
  • Water Distribution & Management


The following documents are expected to be delivered to the Port upon successful conclusion of the contract:

  • Development of CARP that provides a management framework for all operational, technical, and engineering requirements to sustain Port operations as an economic artery of the City of Milwaukee through the year 2070. This would include a review of the Port’s existing capital assets list and an assessment of the assets condition.
  • Development of an Infrastructure Renewal Budget and Maintenance Schedule, as to be spent across 10 consecutive years to successfully execute the CARP, beginning January 1, 2022.
  • Development of a Coastal Resiliency Framework Appendix to the CARP; supplemental and specific analyses are required to address asset management given current uncertainty on the resiliency, particularly given the environmental challenges associated with climate change and significant fluctuations in water levels on the Great Lakes.
  • Development (in coordination with Port staff) and hosting of at least 4 public listening sessions in which members of the public, City of Milwaukee government representatives, and other community constituencies can learn about the CARP and share input.
    • Proposed Meeting: Public listening session with Port tenants and customers
    • Proposed Meeting: Public listening session with Port stakeholders and community organizations
    • Proposed Meeting: Public listening session with the Board of Harbor Commissioners, members of the Milwaukee Common Council, and the Office of Mayor Tom Barrett
    • Proposed Meeting: Public release of the CARP


Responses should be received not later than 5:00 p.m. (Central) on Friday, September 25, 2020. All proposal responses should be limited to 10 pages total and be submitted electronically via email to [email protected].

Responders are asked to submit a Proposal inclusive of three elements: (i) Executive and General Summary; (ii) Understanding and Accomplishing the Goals of the RFP; and (iii) Organization and Contact Information Summary.

Qualified respondents will also explain (a) the history and background of the responding firm; (b) its understanding of the Port’s contemporary operations; (c) its unique approach to addressing the requirements and deliverables of the RFP; and (d) its envisioned project scope, budget, and timeline.


All questions concerning the RFP must be submitted in writing to Jackie Q. Carter, Finance Officer at Port Milwaukee, via email at [email protected].

The Port reserves the right to respond to inquiries individually or to all known interested parties via public posting online.

Additional information about Port Milwaukee is available online at


The proposed work is being partially funded by a Wisconsin Department of Administration (WisDOA) Wisconsin Coastal Management Program (WCMP) grant. As such, frequent and ongoing review by WisDOA employees and other State of Wisconsin officials is expected during the length of the work, including during the RFP process, the contract award, the project execution, and completion of all final deliverables. Ongoing feedback from the State is anticipated.

Port Milwaukee reserves the right to reject any and all proposals for any or no reason at its sole discretion.


Issued: September 22, 2020

The Request for Pricing (RFP) – Capital Asset Renewal Plan (CARP), originally scheduled to close on Friday, September 25, 2020 will now close on Friday, October 9, 2020.

Please make note of the following questions and answers that apply to this RFP:

1. Will Port Milwaukee consider delaying the response submission date to allow more time for companies to prepare a response?

  • Yes, in issuing this addendum, the Port will now accept RFP responses through not later than 5:00 p.m. Central on Friday, October 9, 2020. Responses are due via email to [email protected]. 

2. How does that affect the expected schedule for the RFP review and contract award?

  • The Port now imagines the following, updated timeline:
    • Announcement of RFP: September 11, 2020
    • Due date (updated) for RFP Responses: October 9, 2020
    • Internal Port review of RFP Responses: October 12, 2020 – October 16, 2020
    • Public confirmation of selection: October 19, 2020
    • Final contract negotiations with selectee: October 20, 2020 – October 23, 2020
    • External Review by State of Wisconsin: October 26, 2020 – November 6, 2020
    • Proposed Project Start: November 16, 2020
    • First Draft Delivery: March 12, 2021
    • Final Draft Delivery: December 31, 2021    

3. Can respondents review the August 2012 “Facilities Condition Assessment Program” (FCAP) Report?

4. Is the anticipated scope of work for this assessment similar to the 2012 assessment?

  • The Port anticipates that the scope will be larger for this assessment, including additional assets not previously included in the FCAP.

5. What is the Port’s budget for the work requested in the RFP?

  • As this is a competitive RFP, Port Milwaukee does not intend to share any budgetary information at this time. Potential vendors are encouraged to submit proposals that include estimates based on their agency’s charge for the services necessary to produce the deliverables outlined in the RFP.

    The effort is partially funded by a Wisconsin Coastal Management Program (WCMP) grant. More information about that program is available online at

6. Will the Port’s structures on its North Harbor Tract (e.g. recreational tenants) be included in the scope?

  • The Port has not fully resolved this question yet. Several buildings on the North Harbor Tract (including Harbor House restaurant, Discovery World museum, and the Henry Maier festival grounds) are under tenant management and very likely will not be included as part of the project work.

    However, other infrastructure (e.g. dockwalls at the Pier Wisconsin cruise dock) as well as public access space under the jurisdiction of the Port (e.g. portions of the Art Museum lakewalk) will be included in the scope. 

7. Can respondents be provided the Port’s existing capital asset list to support development of the proposal?

  • The Port’s existing capital asset list will be provided to the final selectee. 

8. Will this be a “desk” review of the Port’s facilities or a “hands-on” review to determine the in-depth baseline conditions of all Port facilities?

  • Assume both. The Port will provide the eventual selectee with ample documentation and historical record from the Port’s internal files. These documents will be foundational to the effort. A hands-on, on-site review is expected to identify gaps in the documentation and to re-establish an updated, comprehensive baseline. On-site work is expected.