Click here for this month's Web extras:
From "THE URGE TO MERGE"
As local tax bases shrink, a handful of states are leading the way in pushing the consolidation envelope.
- Landfill monitoring
- Countywide highway services
- Joint contracts for construction and professional services
- Shared services
- Officials merge employee benefits instead
- Comments from our 2011 budget forecast survey
What PW readers say about consolidation
PUBLIC WORKS News Service
By Victoria K. Sicaras
In January, we asked readers to share their thoughts on consolidating services and/or operations. Below are a few of their experiences, both positive and negative.
Interviews with five PUBLIC WORKS readers
Video: “Wilkesboro/North Wilkesboro: Creating a Culture of Collaboration”
School of Government at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Click here to read articles* on local government consolidation and related topics by Mayraj Fahim, local government reorganization consultant and local government advisor for The City Mayors Foundation, an international think tank dedicated to urban affairs.
*According to Fahim, many of these articles will be updated to include the interest of some states to restructure/consolidate local governments.
- “A Decade of Living Dangerously: The fiscal challenges facing local governments won't go away soon. Here's why that's a good thing.”
By Robert J. O'Neill Jr., executive director of the International City/County Management Association
Other articles on consolidation:
Suburban growth and the infrastructure maintenance gap:
- Report: Curbside Chat: A candid talk about the future of America's cities, towns, and neighborhoods.
Products Solving Problems
From "ON THE RECORD: USING WEBCAMS TO DOCUMENT, SHARE AND ARCHIVE"
Two agencies avoid contractor claims and improve project management without stepping foot on the jobsite.
- Nevada DOT Galena Creek Bridge replacement images.
- Missouri DOT Gasconade River Bridge replacement project:
- Visit the Missouri DOT project page and click on “MoDOT I-44 @ Gasconade River Bridge Replacement” to see archived photos and watch a time-lapse video of the construction.
- Click here to see more examples of OxBlue jobsite images and videos.
From "DESIGNING ON A DIME"
Three ways to optimize existing equipment for snow & ice control.
- "From fire to ice"
Steven Alexander, public works superintendent for Elk Township, N.J., explains how he converted a donated fire tanker into an anti-icing/deicing vehicle for less than $1,000.
- "A winterized pick-up truck"
For a look inside the Village of Vernon Hills, Ill. public works department's snow and ice removal operations, watch the “Vernon Hills 2011 Snow Plow Update.”
Out of the Ordinary
From "LOTS OF OPPORTUNITY"
Cities find creative ways to revive stalled construction sites.
- The Dekalb Market - An open-air mall in Brooklyn features shops made from salvaged shipping containers, six incubator farms, an events venue, and a beer garden.
- The Lot at 30th Street - A 20,000-square-foot lot slated for construction became home to events and food venues including art exhibits, a skating rink, a 350-seat bar, and food trucks.
- Timeshare Backyard - New Yorkers can rent their own suburban-style lawn in Manhattan, formerly a vacant lot, for $50 an hour.
- urbancanvas Design Competition - Sponsored by the New York City Department of Buildings, urbancanvas challenges artists to create artwork for construction fences, sidewalk sheds, cocoon systems, and support scaffolds. The four winners each received $7,500 from the Rockefeller Foundation.
- See a slide show of the winning designs for 2010
- Watch the contest video
- urbanSHED International Design Competition - A contest for architects, engineers, designers, and students to reinvent traditional sidewalk sheds and scaffolding with a focus on safety and improved aesthetics.
- See above slide show for the winning “Urban Umbrella” design (2010)
- Urban Umbrella design details (PDF)
- Holding Patterns - competition held by the Seattle Design Commission to design temporary uses for stalled construction sites. One design, a moveable public art project called “Sail Away,” is scheduled to occupy a site in downtown Seattle site for three years.
- Boston Globe design competition (2009) - the newspaper called on its readers to submit creative concepts for reimagining prominent construction sites.
Read Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's full report, “Arrested Development: Breathing new life into stalled construction sites” (Sept. 2011)
To read more about efforts across the country, follow the links below.
New York City