Viewing construction assets from above and below
A municipal bond analyst travels to transportation construction sites to evaluate potential investments.
Riding up a crane overlooking a 1.2-million-square-foot Fort Lauderdale airport runway or descending into a tunnel under Manhattan to survey a subway line that will connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal are part of the job for Courtney Koester, a municipal bond analyst who covers transportation projects for American Funds.
Courtney has traveled extensively throughout the United States. She most recently visited Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to evaluate a seaport and airport expansion project currently under construction.
The runway will be constructed 60 feet higher than the existing highway, and an enormous amount of earth has been transported for the foundation. “I didn’t realize how complex the project was until I got there. Cranes have to be lower than normal because of air traffic. And the numbers are staggering: The dirt could fill the Marlins’ baseball stadium floor-to-roof three times.”
After an airport tour and a visit to air traffic control, Courtney toured the seaport two miles away. The newly expanded airport and seaport will work together, creating transportation synergy — whether for shipping cargo coming in by rail or for vacationers flying into the airport to embark a cruise liner at the seaport.
“Going to these types of job sites is really important because I can understand how complex they are. It’s easier to get a sense for the magnitude. The scale is really impressive, and this project was no exception.”