Other stories by Jenni Spinner

  • Tunnel vision

    Homeowners don't like it when their basements repeatedly flood after heavy rains, and they don't want to hear excuses about poor sewer conditions. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) heard these complaints, and by 1998, the agency had made the Northwest Side Relief Sewer (NWSRS)...

  • APWA salutes noteworthy projects

    With its 2006 Project of the Year Awards, the American Public Works Association (APWA) has recognized projects that demonstrate management and administration excellence, and collaboration among managing agencies, contractors, and consultants.

  • Steering kids toward science

    Where are the engineers of tomorrow going to come from if we're already so short on talented candidates today? The President's Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) seeks to do just that.

  • Construction aches and pains

    These tips will keep the road smooth and the customer satisfied.

  • Soap ingredient mucks up agriculture

    According to a recent study, an ingredient in antibacterial hand soap remains in municipal sludge after waste-water treatment and accumulates in crop fertilizer.

  • Pungent pest control

    One Chicago suburb is fortifying its relentless mosquito-abatement efforts with a weapon you'd be more likely to find in an Italian kitchen than inside an insecticide sprayer.

  • Getting along

    Elected officials can drive you crazy. They all want to get their two cents in on how your public works department should operate. However, there are ways to work together in harmony and ensure your operation continues to run smoothly.

  • A woman's place is in the field

    Ethyl Ann Hansen joined the California DOT (Caltrans) in the 1960s, at a time when the position most commonly held by women at the agency was secretary. Hansen, on the other hand, was an engineer. She spent her career improving transportation in the San Francisco Bay area. Forty years later, the...

  • Storm aftermath

    In most towns, solid waste personnel have collection down to a science. Unfortunately, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. Hurricanes, blizzards, heavy rains, and other severe weather events can gum up an otherwise smooth collection operation and make a mess of things. In addition to regular...

  • Public works leaders should take a hike

    PUBLIC WORKS Associate Editor Jenni Spinner asks: How often How often do you get out to see your town? Have you ever left the comfort of your office or truck cab to get out to take a good look at the town you serve? If you haven't, you're not getting the big-picture view—the one your constituents...