• New York City's bike-sharing program has struck a chord with many residents.

    Credit: mvp64 | iStockphoto.com

    New York City's bike-sharing program has struck a chord with many residents.

It’s back to school for students nationwide. The days are still long and warm, though, which means construction season is in full swing for at least another month.

As I write this, some public works departments have wrapped up some major accomplishments before the official end of summer:

  • In July, about 150 people jumped into Boston’s Charles River for the first time since public swimming was banned in the 1950s.
  • Launched in May, bike-sharing in New York City is so popular, racks in Manhattan empty during rush hour. After eight weeks, despite record-breaking heat, the program's 60,000 members had hit London’s usage record set during last year's Summer Olympics. CitiBike is operated by NYC Bike Share LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alta Bicycle Share and Public Bike System Co., the same joint venture that Boston; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Chicago; Minneapolis; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C. use.
  • The City of San Jose became the first in California to earn certification under Greenroads, a four-year-old sustainability rating system for new construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and bridges.

The Infrastructure Maintenance Division shaved 23% off the cost of rebuilding two miles of roads built in 1912 that was considered one of the state’s worst stretches of roadways. Almost all—97%—of the pavement was reused via cold-in-place recycling and a hot-mix asphalt overlay that used 19% recycled rubber tires as a replacement for asphalt. The project includes low-energy, light-emitting diode (LED) street lighting with dimming controls.

Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, and San Francisco are also scheduled to finish Greenroads projects this year.

Surely your team has completed or is putting the finishing touches on a project that will greatly improve the quality of life for residents and visitors, even if they don’t realize it. We here at Public Works, however, do.

What was it? Toot your team’s horn by e-mailing me at sjohnston@hanleywood.com.