Stephanie Johnston's Blog

  • City made $8M 'entrapping' drivers with red-light cameras

    So far this year, Chicago has issued 77,000 tickets for red-light violations caused, say irate drivers, by laughingly brief yellow lights. The mayor says the city will refund the money, but $8 million is a lot of revenue to let go of.

     
  • There’s more to life than a PE license

    Twenty-four professionals were recently certified as infrastructure inspectors or stormwater managers by the American Public Works Association. You don't have to be a member to take advantage of the association's educational offerings.

     
  • Saved! At least through May 31, 2015

    The Highway Trust Fund’s not going broke after all, thanks to a grudging, 11th-hour save by Congress. But pensions are being raided to make it happen.

     
  • Cycling kills (but you can stop it)

    I saw a billboard the other day that could only have been inspired by Chicago’s bicycling boom: A law firm offers to win damages from errant motorists for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and disfigurement.

     
  • 5 projects vie for international engineering award

    Four of the five projects that could be the world's Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement for 2015 are in the U.S.

     
  • Curing pervious concrete: what's your take?

    A contractor and equipment owner argue over how important superabsorbant polymer (SAP) is to the future performance of pervious concrete. Who's right?

     
  • Why the Highway Trust Fund is doomed to go broke

    A proposal to raise $164 billion over 10 years won’t pass in time to keep the Highway Trust Fund from going broke by the end of August. And the White House doesn’t support it.

     
  • Will new emissions regs force you to raise water, sewer rates?

    EPA released its plan to cut emissions from coal-fired power plants by 30% on Monday to mixed reviews. How your utility feels about them depends on what state you’re in.

     
  • 63,000 U.S. bridges need structural repairs

    State-by-state analyses of FHWA’s 2013 National Bridge Inventory data show that state and local agencies don’t have, and never will, the resources to meet repair and replacement needs.

     
  • Do-it-yourself public works crews

    Imagine 130,000 people descending on Las Vegas in the dead of winter and packed into about one square mile of space.

     
  • Women and pay in public works

    April 8 is Equal Pay Day: the date on which I’ll finally have earned as much as a similarly educated, similarly experienced male colleague earned last year. Is my employer deliberately low-balling my compensation?

     
  • Three tips I picked up at Traffic Expo

    The American Traffic Safety Services Association’s 40th annual convention – Traffic Expo – convened last week. Here are my top take-aways.

     
  • Five nifty products from World of Concrete

    And an extra one thrown in for good measure because it could make your life a whole lot easier.

     
  • As promised last week ...

    Solutions to four more common public works challenges based on reader budget expectations for the year.

     
  • Four challenges, four solutions

    As promised last week, how readers in various EPA regions plan to meet their community's unique public works challenges this year.

     
  • ‘Bridgegate’: Something sounds fishy to me!

    Although it’s probably not what you think. Most reports of the traffic jam heard ‘round the nation say lanes were closed for a “traffic study.” That doesn’t make sense to me.

     
  • Well, isn’t this a great start to a new year?!

    It’s warmer in Antarctica than it is here in Chicago right now. With many businesses and schools closed, folks are hunkering down by the fire at home. But not local road crews.

     
  • 5 out of 10 public works departments chosen!

    That means we need five more candidates. For what, you ask? For a profile in our January issue.

     
  • Public (works) Enemy No. 1

    Surprisingly (at least to me), it’s not stormwater. According to preliminary Public Works survey results, readers expect pavement construction and maintenance (i.e., streets and roads) to be their department’s greatest challenge next year.

     
  • Happy 40th birthday, World of Concrete!

    And (at least) five reasons to head for Las Vegas in January (in case you need any.)

     
 
 
 
 

Blog Archive

Blog Archive

For more blogs written by Stephanie, Pam, and Michele click here.

 

Editor's Note

As Editor in Chief of Public Works, Stephanie Johnston directs the brand’s magazine, website, e-newsletters, and contributes to webcasts and other digital initiatives.

 

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