June 2005 Table of Contents

Rapid road repairs Rapid road repairs

Precast concrete panels minimize traffic disruptions Read more


For any public works employee experienced in presenting a controversial project or fielding service-related complaints, this is the question that eventually arises when contemplating the development of a public relations program. But upon further reflection, the answer has to be “yes” because in the end, citizens are not only customers but also owners. Read more

Fine Windy City dining from a trash man's perspective Fine Windy City dining from a trash man's perspective

Want to know the best places to enjoy a great lunch in Chicago? Don't reach for the city's Zagat Survey, or flip to the Read more

Turning a corner with mapping software Turning a corner with mapping software

A geographic information system (GIS) now provides detailed information on every intersection in the nation's capital. Washington, D.C.'s, Department of Public Works Solid Waste Management Administration (DPW-SWMA) uses both routing software and new turn-restriction information to increase production and save resources. Read more

Software keeps water flowing smoothly Software keeps water flowing smoothly

Keeping water flowing to thousands of residents is a demanding job for the Chicago Department of Water Management. With 45 miles of new water mains installed each year, keeping up with how much water flows—and determining whether customers are properly paying for their water and sewer service—can be even more challenging. Read moreyfvdfdzdrbywwacuw

Picking your employees' brains Information management Picking your employees' brains

Retaining intellectual capital within your department Read more

Preparing for disasters Pipeline construction & maintenance Preparing for disasters

Lifeline vulnerabilities in earthquake-prone areas Read more

Solid Waste Collection & Disposal Is automated collection for you?

Living in the large city of Chicago, I'm very aware of how much solid waste there is—on the streets and in the alleys, where my trash is collected. Those refuse collectors stop by my house only on Tuesdays, but I see the giant blue Streets and Sanitation trucks scattered around the city's neighborhoods every day of the week. Read more

Water supply & storage Rethinking Resources

California supply problem proves solvable Read more

High-tech systems monitor fuel use Ideas & Opinions / Fleets High-tech systems monitor fuel use

In these days of high fuel costs, it's important to know how well your fleet is doing with respect to fuel mileage and use. A good fuel management system can help you do that. You can identify vehicles that are not getting good fuel mileage, and you can use the mileage information to schedule preventive maintenance. Read more

Envisioning the future water and wastewater utility Ideas & Opinions Envisioning the future water and wastewater utility

For American water and wastewater utilities, change is inevitable and unrelenting. Although their fundamental responsibility remains to provide safe, reliable, affordable, and secure systems that protect public health, the environment, and quality of life, changes in society and the global business community powerfully influence how modern utilities function. Read more

Seeing the big picture Ideas & Opinions Seeing the big picture

Serving the public can be an arduous, thankless job. The work is challenging, and even if your performance is stellar, the number of complaints you draw often outweighs the kudos. Of course you want to do a good job, but sometimes, when you find yourself in the middle of a grueling workday—which, if you're in public works, happens to be most workdays—it's easy to lose sight of the real purpose of your work. Read more

Is there a chemist in the house? Ideas & Opinions Is there a chemist in the house?

When you visit a water plant, what image are you left with? Depending on your experience, you may envision a building pulsating with the noise of pumps and motors; a vast array of tanks filled with water; or a large room of pipes and computer screens with red, green, or yellow lights. When I enter a water plant I immediately think of a large chemistry experiment—an image etched into my mind after years of dealing with a small but complicated plant in Illinois. Read more

Riverfront plan recognized News & Views: Community Riverfront plan recognized
Asphalt pavement achievements recognized News & Views: Design & Construction Asphalt pavement achievements recognized
Wetlands restoration project wins national recognition News & Views: Design & Construction Wetlands restoration project wins national recognition
Hot-mix asphalt training made easy News & Views: Operations Hot-mix asphalt training made easy
Our fearless leaders Editorial Our fearless leaders

By the time you read this, it's possible that our nation's elected leaders will have figured out a way to fund transportation in this country. After countless extensions, proposals, and threats, it seems that the House, the Senate, and the President are at last drifting toward a compromise on what they are calling the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005, or SAFETEA. Read more

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