Stephanie Johnston's Blog

  • This is America’s Oldest Concrete Street

    The public works department in a small Ohio town is having a very busy week. The caretakers of the nation’s first “artificial stone” street are hosting concrete enthusiasts eager to celebrate a public asset installed 17 years after Custer’s last stand.

     
  • Tennessee and other southern states attracting retirees

    Nashville is growing so fast, it's in serious danger of a real estate bubble.

     
  • Thin Is In in More Ways Than One

    As you read this, I'm at World of Asphalt in Nashville. A lot of educational sessions teach contractors how to help public customers (that's you) squeeze as much life as possible out of pavement. But I'm confused, and wonder if you have an answer.

     
  • Scapegoat time in Flint

    Drinking water regulations are boring and difficult. It's easy to assume authorities are doing the right thing, but irresponsible.

     
  • Just When I Thought Flying Couldn’t Get Scarier

    As I planned my travel from Chicago to Nashville for World of Asphalt, I came across a website that made my hair stand on end. If you work at an airport, you probably know about the Federal Aviation Administration’s Wildlife Hazard Mitigation program. But I had no idea the danger that critters...

     
  • Check Out This Award-Winning Roundabout

    I attended World of Concrete in Las Vegas earlier this month. Imagine my surprise at learning about this neat public works project during an American Society of Concrete Contractors awards presentation.

     
  • Defining public works

    A reader helps the editor with a definition for public works. Can you think of a better one?

     
  • Please, Please, PLEASE Take Our Salary Survey!

    It's come to my attention that not all of you received the salary survey questionnaire we e-mailed on Feb. 1. If you didn't, we'd greatly appreciate your responding now by clicking here. We use your anonymous answers to produce the only analysis of North American public works compensation packages.

     
  • It’s That Time of Year Again!

    Not to offer a sacrifice to the snow gods, although those of you on the East Coast would probably like to. Rather, it’s time to find out how much money you make (anonymously, of course).

     
  • Spending priorities

    Spending is increasing more on amusement parts and sports facilities than on public works. What's wrong with us?!

     
  • Pinch Me, ‘Cause I Must Be Dreaming

    Last week, after 10 years and $65 billion in U.S. Treasury transfers to the Highway Trust Fund, President Obama signed multiyear surface transportation legislation. While significant, the five-year, $305-billion funding package still doesn’t address the fundamental problem with how we as a nation...

     
  • Celebrate unsung heroism

    The holidays are a time when public works brings the community together.

     
  • 10 Eye-Catching Public Works Products

    I love checking out products at the American Public Works Association's annual convention. This year's show was in Phoenix, but neither 110-degree heat nor the city's worst storm in 39 years dimmed my enthusiasm.

     
  • Have inspectors gone rogue?

    Are general contractors afraid to say something for fear of retaliation?

     
  • Public works' obscurity

    No one really understands what public works does, much less the pride employees take in providing an enjoyable and safe environment in which to live and work.

     
  • Which is the Better Use of Taxpayer Dollars?

    It’s the time of year when we ask public works departments when and why they retain consultants vs. performing work themselves. After all, many men and women who staff our nation’s road, water, and waste agencies have the advanced degrees and technical knowledge required to design, engineer, and...

     
  • Geodatabase helps city get great PR

    Residents in Australia's second largest city are sending e-mails to their favorite trees.

     
  • EPA fixes water pollution program after 25 years

    Gasoline and diesel is stored in tanks and conveyed via pipelines buried under the busy forecourts of convenience stores and fuel stations. As any water or sewer manager knows, those assets often leak. When they do, they poison one of the nation’s largest sources of drinking water.

     
  • Fountain repair

    It's taking 16 months to repair the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles near Paris.

     
  • Public works: the first line of defense

    I have a confession to make: I lifted the “first line” line from Municipal Water & Sewer’s editor. Luke Laggis was reminding readers that they’re health care workers. “’Sanitas’ is the Latin word for health,” he writes, quoting a World Health Organization adviser. “Maintaining the health of the...

     
 
 
 
 

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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