January 2007 Table of Contents

PUBLIC WORKS Special Report: 2007 Forecast

Budget increases are outpacing cuts five to one this year, 12 percent of public works budgets were cut going into 2007, and one-third are flat compared to 2006. The bottom line: Funding for public intrastructure is up, but not enough to suit most managers' needs. Read our special report on the 2007 funding forecast, looking in-depth at 2007 finances and their impact on supply costs, fleets, municipal solid waste, public grounds, wastewater and stormwater, and water. Read more

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley Clang, clang, clang went the trolley

It might have been the end of the line for a retired trolley car, had a group of dedicated railway enthusiasts not stepped up to revive it. As a result, the car is nearly restored to its former glory, and the people behind its rejuvenation got a valuable lesson in how to use federal transportation funding to make things happen. Read more

Forming a better plan Forming a better plan

When the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services needed to pour a 4,000-foot bike path that connects an existing path in Burbank, Calif., to the North Hollywood arts district, it abandoned traditional wood forms in favor of reusable metal forms and a truss screed that simplified finishing. In addition to saving the department time and money, the new 16-foot-wide, 6-inch-thick concrete path is strong enough to support the occasional emergency vehicle and sweeper. Read more

Sealing the Deal Sealing the Deal

Manhole products help utility run a (water)tight operation. Read more

Remote control Fleet Management & Maintenance Remote control

As prices drop, real-time tracking and dispatching systems are no longer an option reserved for police, fire, and emergency services. Read more

Connecting the dots Asset Management Connecting the dots

Geographic information systems evolve with each advance in computer and telecommunications technology. Read more

Starting off with a splash Stormwater Starting off with a splash

Determining an appropriate rate structure can be tricky, but with careful preparation, thinking long-term, and selecting a good staff, it can be done. Read more

A customized approach ADA compliance A customized approach

One size does not fit all when it comes to designing curb ramps. Three real-world examples show how it's done. Read more

Curb appeal Pavement construction Curb appeal

Discover the beauty and benefits of decorative pavement. By taking a decorative approach, cities do more than dress themselves up. They increase the visibility and awareness of crosswalks and bike paths, calm traffic without creating an eyesore, and revitalize neighborhoods and business districts. The following are examples of decorative approaches used across the country. Read more

Forecast 2007: Water Forecast 2007: Water

When it comes to the nation's potable-water supply, critical issues remain the same as last year, though some items—like U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations—shift slightly as scientists obtain more information about the effects of various compounds and impurities on public health. Read more

Forecast 2007: wastewater/stormwater Forecast 2007: wastewater/stormwater

Homeland security drives some upgrades; USDA cuts funding Read more

Forecast 2007: public grounds

As it did last year, “green space” is becoming increasingly important as we lose more of it to development. Today's policy makers are more aware of how urban forests cool cities, lower energy consumption, and reduce greenhouse gases. Read more

Forecast 2007: municipal solid waste

Not a lot to worry about here this year: As long as there's garbage, municipal solid waste (MSW) managers will have a job. The issues they'll face this year, however, are where that garbage is going and how its treatment is changing. As recycling grows, the amount of waste sent to landfills is dropping. So the waste is still there, but it's being handled differently. Read more

2007 Forecast: Fleets 2007 Forecast: Fleets

Even though truck sales in general are declining, sales to state and local governments will remain even with last year. Municipal fleets won't feel the money crunch or tightening emissions crunch until late 2007 or 2008—and later. Read more

2007 Forecast: supply costs 2007 Forecast: supply costs

Expect the price of construction materials to rise by 6% to 8%, says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Arlington, Va. Read more

2007 Forecast: A regional snapshot

In early November, we asked readers if their 2007 operational and capital budgets would be up, down, or flat compared to 2006. Then we divided the nation into five regions and compared budget expectations. Here are the results Read more

2007 Forecast: Variable Conditions 2007 Funding Outlook 2007 Forecast: Variable Conditions

At first glance, the forecast for the year ahead calls for clear skies. But dig a little deeper, and the outlook gets murkier. To get a handle on how public works departments are being financially supported in their efforts to care for the infrastructure, both on a day-to-day level as well as for major improvements, we asked readers in early November to share their 2007 budgetary expectations. We received 440 responses, a 1.4% response rate. Our 2007 Forecast presents those results. Read more

News & Views: Operations Book clears up congestion

by Ted Balaker and Sam Staley, comes out of the Reason Foundation's Galvin Mobility Project, an initiative to reduce traffic congestion and promote progressive transportation planning. Read more

Denver EPA goes green News & Views: Design & Construction Denver EPA goes green

The U.S. EPA's new 232,000-square-foot facility in Denver was built with the goal of earning a Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council. Read more

News & Views: People People wishy-washy on water

An online poll indicates that people have mixed feelings when it comes to the taste and odor of their local public water. Read more

Plant gets double dose of excellence News & Views: Awards Plant gets double dose of excellence

Although it's still under construction, Scottsdale, Ariz.'s Chaparral Water Treatment Plant has already garnered two awards: for design and for public art. Read more

Portland's porous pavement a prize News & Views: Design & Construction Portland's porous pavement a prize
News & Views PUBLIC WORK Briefs: January 2007

Florida students design winning plants; Chicago gives e-waste new home; New technique cuts cost of treatment; and more .... Read more

Skewed Views Down & Dirty January 2007

Brief items chronicling the unusual side of news for PUBLIC WORKS. Read more

Pothole problem met with naked anger

In a unique protest over the plentiful potholes on Highway 32 in Leader, Saskatchewan, the farming community's residents decided to take it all off for a fundraising calendar. Read more

Robot terrorizes light bulbs

It looks like a psycho robot from a 1950s sci-fi flick, but a monster machine at the University of Calgary, Alberta, only mauls and munches old fluorescent light bulbs—not humans. Read more

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