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The Port Authority


The Pine Bluff-Jefferson County Port Authority is an instrumentality of city and county governments established in 1963 in accordance with Arkansas’ Metropolitan Port Authority Act of 1961. The Port Authority is dedicated to maximum development and utilization of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, the nation's inland waterways, the five navigable rivers in the state, and the Port of Pine Bluff. 

Those currently serving as directors are:

  • David C. BushChairman; retired banking executive
  • Phyllis HardenVice Chairman; executive assistant, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Company
  • Joey GieringerSecretary-Treasurer; information systems officer, Reylance Bank
  • Pete AhlgrimDirector; retired manufacturing executive
  • Pete LucasDirector; general manager, Liberty Utilities
  • Diane TatumDirector; retired utility executive
  • Jeff VanderpoolDirector; president, Kiswire-Pine Bluff

The Port Authority has two ex-officio directors, Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington and Jefferson County Judge Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV.  Lou Ann Nisbett serves as Executive Director.

The 375-acre Harbor Industrial District at the Port of Pine Bluff is a land development project of the Port Authority. A 20-acre public terminal facility has been developed by the Port Authority and is leased to Watco Terminal and Port Services for operation. This arrangement assures access to low-cost water transportation for all shippers in the Pine Bluff area and South and Central Arkansas.