The Port of San Diego has approved a $1.6 million contract with Arcadis US Inc., under which the Colorado-based firm will provide construction and project management services for the first phase of renovations to the North Embarcadero district.

The board of port commissioners approved the contract at its Aug. 9 meeting. Arcadis’ San Diego office will perform construction review, bid assistance, inspection, testing and communications support for the $28.6 million first phase of long-term improvements planned for the waterfront area of downtown San Diego.

A port district statement said Arcadis ranked highest of four finalists bidding for the construction administrator contract, worth $1,697,278. The Port of San Diego will begin advertising for construction bids by mid-August, with a construction contract expected to be awarded in late October.

The first phase of improvements includes an area stretching from Navy Pier north to B Street Pier, and also takes in a portion of West Broadway. The long-term Embarcadero plan, being overseen by the port and city, calls for amenities such as widened esplanades, public gathering spaces, public art and enhanced landscaping.

Arcadis US is based in Highlands Ranch, Colo. It is the American division of construction services firm Arcadis NV, with headquarters in the Netherlands.

— Lou Hirsh