Stephanie Johnston's Blog

  • Is asset management a load of crap?

    Before all you software, equipment, and consulting companies that serve the public works market have a fit over that question, please: Let me explain.

     
  • 600 counties violate proposed EPA ozone levels

    Ozone is another word for the haze that obscures skylines when humidity and temperature conditions are just right. You'll have three chances to comment on EPA's plan to lower the ozone air pollution standard to 65 ppb or 70 ppb by next October.

     
  • Want help with elected officials? Ask IBM

    Suffolk County, N.Y., is using the company's Smarter Cities Challenge to solve an $8 billion problem created by Hurricane Sandy: groundwater contamination. Instead of money, though, IBM donates time and expertise in a full-court press on local officials to join in.

     
  • How FHWA spends its money

    According to the General Accountability Office, most Federal Highway Administration funding goes toward improving roads and bridges (64%). That doesn't leave a lot for the many activities required to plan and build safe roadways, particularly if they're also going to be used by bicyclists and...

     
  • Winter weather forecast

    Bad news for public works departments nationwide: The next five or six months could be almost as bad as last year's polar vortex.

     
  • 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.

     
  • 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.

     
 
 
 
 

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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