TOUR/Wed., Sept. 21, 8 - 11:00 a.m. IIn 2003, the Colorado DOT (CDOT) adopted whitetopping — the2 process of constructing a new concrete pavement over worn existing asphalt — in its standard specifications. The Rocky Mountain Cement Council will conduct a tour of two whitetopping success stories: Parker Road (1997, shown here) and Wadsworth Boulevard (2003). Photo: Rocky Mountain Cement Council
TOUR/Wed., Sept. 21, 8- 11:00 a.m.The City and County of Denver's Fleet Division takes pride in saving money and conserving fuel while maintaining, repairing, renting, and fueling 1,900 vehicles. Tour the state-of-the-art fleet facility designed to accommodate alternative fuel vehicles. Photo: The City and County of Denver

By Shelby O. Mitchell

The American Public Works Association (APWA) invites you to a high-minded summit, the International Public Works Congress & Exposition, Sept. 18-21, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. An estimated 6,000 people will travel to the event from across the United States, Canada, and several other countries.

Even before the exhibit hall opens, the association delivers on the event's mission to “Innovate, Motivate, Elevate” by offering a day-long Self Assessment Workshop on Sat., Sept. 17. Using the Public Works Management Practices Manual, the seminar teaches directors, managers, supervisors, and administrators how to target problem areas, identify opportunities, and improve their team's overall effectiveness.

Sharpen your skills further while earning continuing education units (CEUs) at more than 125 technical and professional-development sessions (see Our Top Picks side-bar for highlights). Trade show hours, Sunday through Tuesday, allow plenty of time to find out more about the products and services of more than 400 vendors without missing detailed presentations of successful infrastructure projects by city, county, township, special district, state, and federal agencies.

“Workshop Wednesday” provides several opportunities to see Denver's top projects firsthand, with several workshop/tours:

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory Complex in Golden, Colo.
  • Prairie Waters Project – A Water Reclamation and Water Delivery Program in Aurora, Colo.
  • Using Whitetopping – Stretching Roadway Dollars, presented by the Rocky Mountain Cement Council
  • City and County of Denver State-of-the-Art Fleet Facility
  • Environmentally Sensitive Paving Projects, presented by the Colorado Asphalt Paving Association
  • Fasttracks West Corridor Light Rail Transit Construction Project, Regional Transportation District in Denver.

Also on Wed., Sept. 21, the Stormwater Summit will appeal to those who've waded through a soggy spring. Sponsored by the association's Water Resources Committee, the session provides a Western-U.S. view of managing risk. Denver Urban Drainage & Flood Control District Senior Project Engineer David Mallory, P.E., discusses watershed-based control, floodplain preservation, and sustainable protection plans that benefit communities and the environment. The program includes a tour of local stormwater management applications and facilities.

Beginning with a welcome party hosted by the association's Colorado Chapter the evening of Sun., Sept. 18, where you can sample locally brewed beers, you'll have ample opportunity to meet new friends. In addition, the association brings together specific groups of professionals for networking opportunities such as:

  • First-Timers Meeting and Breakfast

    Sun., Sept. 18, 7–8:30 a.m.

  • Progressive Women in Public Works Breakfast

    Mon., Sept. 19, 7–8:15 a.m.

  • Young Professionals (definition: 35 years and younger) Networking Reception

    Mon., Sept. 19, 8–9:30 p.m.

  • American Academy of Environmental Engineers

    Tues., Sept. 20, 7–8:15 a.m.

  • Diversity Brunch

    Tues., Sept. 20, 10–11:30 a.m.

On Monday evening, Sept. 19, the Awards & Recognition Ceremony and Reception honors achievements and contributions by individuals (such as the latest Top 10 leaders who will be featured in our September issue), groups, and association chapters.

Finally, not all of your time has to be spent at the convention center.

As part of the association's Proud to Care community outreach effort, you can help repair the trail system in Red Rocks Park (Fri., Sept. 16).

The athletically inclined can play in a golf tournament at Fox Hollow Golf Course in nearby Lakewood (Sat., Sept. 17) or do a 5k Fun Run along the scenic Cherry Creek Trail (Tues., Sept. 20).


For the full event schedule, click here.


Designed exclusively for the infrastructure manager's unique informational needs, the American Public Works Association's annual convention is one of the only forums where attendees can talk one-on-one with colleagues who've successfully addressed regulatory, engineering, resource, and outreach issues. Here are a few sessions we'll be attending Sept. 17 — 21 in Denver.

HANDLE WITH C.A.R.E. - A Unique Approach to Disaster Response Communications

Sun., Sept. 18, 8:30 - 9:45 a.m.

After a spate of wild fires in 2009, Los Angeles County Public Works and other first responders developed C.A.R.E.: Coordinated Agency Recovery Effort. Learn how to develop similar community and media outreach procedures.

Developing Social Media into a Public Works Asset

Sun., Sept. 18, 4 - 4:50 p.m.

Learn the strengths and weaknesses of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.; how they work, and how to turn one or more into a well-managed communication asset.

Editor's note: Co-presenter Pam Broviak is the city engineer/assistant director of public works for City of Geneva, Ill., and author of “The Works.”

Recycled Materials in Construction — Divert that Waste Stream!

Mon., Sept. 19, 10 - 10:50 a.m.

Design projects that specify regionally available recycled materials in lieu of virgin resources.

Creative Ways to Use Your Stimulus Dollars

Mon., Sept. 19, 10 - 10:50 a.m.

Sponsored by the Small Cities Rural Communities Committee

Learn firsthand how to prove that new ways of thinking — through project concept, design, procurement, and completion — provide significant efficiencies.

Porous Asphalt/Permeable Concrete Pavements

Mon., Sept. 19, 2- 3:50 p.m.

Sponsored by the Engineering & Technology Committee

Explore the pros, cons, and cost ranges of “green street” techniques.

Will Work for Free - How Volunteers Can Expand Your Resources and Expertise

Mon., Sept. 19, 4 - 4:50 p.m.

Find out what it takes to develop, implement, and maintain a program that augments departmental effectiveness by matching outsiders' interests with internal resource gaps.

Landscape Your Medians for Fun and Profit!

Tues., Sept. 20, 3 – 5 p.m.

Sponsored by the Facilities & Grounds Committee

Learn how a larger tree canopy in the City of Cleveland, Tenn., is enhancing air and water-pollution measures while improving driver safety.