First post-Hurricane Katrina water project comes online Operations

Three years after a 500-year water surge swamped six Mississippi counties along the Gulf of Mexico, the Pearl River County Utility Authority is the first utility to use its share of $640 million in federal funds available under a regional water and wastewater plan created in 2006 by the governor and implemented by the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Ultimately, the $2.4 million facility will provide 2,600 water connections to the city of Poplarville and surrounding water systems. The 2-mgd facility's above-ground tank holds 500,000 gallons while 40,000 gallons of groundwater is treated with chlorine in a belowground tank.

“We're pleased to act as catalyst to promote economic growth for the county and the city by the completion of this project,” says Steve Lawler, president of the authority's board.

Canadian crews strut their stuff People

The fast-growing city of Vaughan took top honors in a decade-old test of 10 public works departments that includes a backhoe loader competition, a snow plough obstacle course, a water main repair and water service connection installation, and a truck and trailer obstacle course.

“We appreciate the training and skills our team brings to their jobs,” says Bill Robinson, commissioner of engineering and public works for the Ontario city of 250,000.

DelDOT to neighborhood drivers: Slow down Community

Requests for lawn signs and T-shirts are pouring into the Delaware DOT (Del-DOT) since it kicked off a multimedia campaign imploring drivers to stick to the state-mandated 25-mph speed limit for residential areas and subdivisions.

Nationally, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children 2 to 14 years old, and speeding in residential neighborhoods is the No. 1 complaint to police departments and city councils. Last year, Delaware drivers killed three children and injured 60.

“Statistics like this are shocking, and reminding drivers of the consequences of speeding is the best way to get them to slow down,” says DelDOT Secretary Carolann Wicks.

Funded with $500,000 from the federal SAFETEA-LU program. This is the second of a three-part educational effort that began in March with an emphasis on work-zone safety and will focus next on pedestrians.

Transit building receives international recognition Design & construction

In addition to earning an International Interior Design Association award for environmental design, 19,650 square feet of administrative space in a new Arizona transit building is the largest facility of its kind to achieve LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The $46.8 million facility is part of a 23-acre, 250-bus complex owned and operated by the cities of Tempe, Scottsdale, and Valley Metro. In addition to an under-floor air distribution system that reduces energy use by up to 47%, the east and west sides of the building have fewer windows that, to reduce heat gain even further, are made with double-pane/low-emissive glazing glass.

Other features include an oil/water separator to filter stormwater runoff; a reflective roof and fabric shade canopies; carpet, tile, millwork, and ceiling finishes made from recycled material; and a decomposed granite parking lot surface.