MIAMI - Larry Coleman, like many Lea+Elliott employees, came into the firm after serving as a Lea+Elliott client. He joined us 10 years ago, after working on the Miami International Airport MIA Mover where he was the project manager for Bechtel. “I liked working with the Lea+Elliott team because they were very professional, the people were trustworthy, and they got things done—and done well,” he says.
Larry’s decades of experience in airport planning and developing project strategies, coupled with his procurement expertise, gives him a unique perspective and distinctive skills. For example, he has led and/or participated in the preparation of system plans, techno-economic viability evaluations, and review of program delivery strategies for airport APM projects in Miami, Newark, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, and Los Angeles.
“Usually, when we start an APM project, I work on the front end of it,” Larry explains. “I dig in and try to define the needs of the owner from a transportation perspective: How do people need to move through the airport? Are there congestion issues? Will a people mover fit within their current plans? What is their vision for the future? I look at the big picture and then work through the details to help each client define their need and determine what is the best solution for their specific situation.”
As Larry thinks back on his decades in the industry, he points to the MIA Mover as particularly interesting because it went through so many iterations. “In the beginning, the then-present airport management had a particular vision for the APM system and then that group changed, so the priorities and direction changed too,” he says. “Then 9/11 happened and, for a while, the whole project was put on hold as America dealt with the ‘new normal’ in air travel. Today it’s a fully functioning, well designed, exceptionally efficient system. It is gratifying to have taken it from concept to completion despite the many challenges along the way.” One major lesson learned is to make sure that each plan is flexible and can be adapted to accommodate alternative future development scenarios.
The greatest reward in his work is the ability to solve complex problems. Larry finds great pleasure in developing airport transportation solutions based on the unique character of each facility. Defining the project, exploring the options, and developing creative solutions keeps him challenged and inspired.
“I see myself as an honest broker,” he adds. “If I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it. If I make a commitment, I stand behind it. I think clients understand that about me and I like that.”
The Steering Committee of the 16th International Conference on Automated People Movers and Automated Transit Systems is accepting proposals for complete sessions and abstracts for presentations at the conference. Final papers are optional for accepted abstracts; those submitted will be published in the Conference Proceedings upon final approval.