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    Managing C&D debris

    With landfill space decreasing and environmental concerns and regulations increasing, public works officials are sifting through the waste stream for new ways to manage waste disposal. One portion of the waste stream that they have identified as lacking comprehensive and standardized management...

     
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    Tossing the tube

    John Bardeen, William Shockley, and Walter Brattain—researchers at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ.—never dreamed that their invention of the transistor would become such a big deal in the waste industry when they received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1956.

     
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    Rapid road repairs

     
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    PWPR

    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...

     
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    From concept to reality

    Many cities are struggling to find new ways to meet the challenges posed by an enormous infrastructure funding gap. Indianapolis is using the flexibility of a public-private partnership to implement new practices to reduce capital improvement costs and to keep up with the demands of population...

     
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    Not your average landfill

     
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    Demanding a better way

     
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    No big deal

    When an event brings more people into a small town than the normal population, the public works department has to be ready. Water, wastewater, trash, roads, parks—all are impacted far beyond their originally intended capacity. Here's how two towns reacted.

     
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    Geographic information system software and accessories

    The American Red Cross is turning to GIS technology to aid in relief efforts following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Computer mapping, spatial analysis, and GIS Web services have helped the agency manage and distribute food, clothing, and housing. In addition, workers have used the technology to set...

     
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    Flying high

    Imagine you're adding a runway at a busy international airport. Then, imagine doing it while saddled with the most stringent environmental impact mitigation permits issued in state history. You would be managing the third-runway project at Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport in...

     
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    Rock-steady railway

    As an officer of the Deep Foundations Institute, I have had the opportunity to travel the globe and meet engineers from around the world. We have found common ground in our engineering challenges and shared countless ideas and experiences, to the mutual benefit of our respective clients.

     
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    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

     
  • Membranes and Accessories

     
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    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...

     
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    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...

     
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    Full-service drainage solution

     
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    Picking your employees' brains

     
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    Preparing for disasters

     
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    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...

     
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    Rethinking Resources

     
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    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...

     
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    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...

     
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    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...

     
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    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...

     
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    Letters to the editor

     
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    Riverfront plan recognized

     
  • EPA announces $75.9 million in brownfields grants

     
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    Asphalt pavement achievements recognized

     
  • Transportation package jump-starts viaduct replacement

     
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    Wetlands restoration project wins national recognition

     
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    Hot-mix asphalt training made easy

     
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    ODOT wins environmental excellence award

     
  • Mobile system creates pure drinking water

     
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    EPA releases stormwater management model

     
  • PUBLIC WORKS News Briefs - June 2005

     
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    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...

     
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    2005 Public Works Department of the Year Winners

    Winners from the 2005 PUBLIC WORKS Department of the Year contest.

     
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    A passion for parks

    An interview with Connie Edmonston, parks and recreation director for Fayetteville, Ark.

     
  • New products, featuring vacuum litter collection equipment

    The MS/MT350 street sweeper is a heavy-duty machine mounted on a commercially available truck chassis. With dual steering controls and operating positions, it offers a high degree of maneuverability.

     
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    Keeping it real

    After several years of planning, the public works project is finally approved. The rush begins to get permits in place and procure the necessary support to move the project along. The team makes a final check of the drawings and is ready to break ground. Then at the project kick-off meeting...

     
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    Protecting rivers and streams

    The growing emphasis on point source pollution control has focused increasing attention on stormwater runoff. As a result, public works directors all over the country are now addressing the issue, some more eagerly than others. One of the most ardent clean water proponents in northern Illinois is...

     
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    Cost-cutting maintenance measures

    By industry association figures, it costs $10,000 to $12,000 per space to build a new multi-level garage. Even more staggering is the estimated annual cost of $650 per space to simply operate the structure, including lighting, cleaning, employees, elevators, and gate equipment.

     
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    Taking a diversion

    There are ways to reduce the amount of waste that goes into a landfill. And with the number of landfills decreasing, public works directors should be looking for ways to decrease the amount of solid waste that goes into these landfills. One way is to divert waste into other streams.

     
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    Tapping into LTAP

    Fortunately, the federal government realizes that local agencies need help to reduce crashes in their jurisdictions. Through the efforts of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), many tools and programs have been developed to provide guidance to local agencies, including the Local Technical...

     
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    Finding funding for a water project

    In 2000. Mason City, Iowa, began planning an upgrade of its water treatment system in order to meet the regulations established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Final Radionuclide Rule. Until the new standard became effective on Dec. 8, 2003, the city's treatment for drinking water had...

     
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    Chicago park sets standard for next millennium

    Chicago's Millennium Park is a different sort of public works project. Though the park is now owned and operated by the city, many of the attractions were paid for by private donations—some of them in the multimillion-dollar range. And the park is really five separate structures—two underground...

     
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    Making a splash at a local park

    Landscape and park designers often run into strange problems when designing into an existing space. For Paul W. Bouchard, the problem was hawthorn trees. “The preservation of existing trees was the biggest challenge concerning the orientation and layout of the project, which includes the splash pad...

     
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    AEC leaders of the pack

    In business today outsourcing is common; public works departments are no different. No department by itself can handle all of the things that are thrown at it—from planning new parks to rebuilding outdated parking facilities to maintaining water treatment plants.

     
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    Dealing with driver/operator shortages

    In-house training has proven to be the answer for public works departments that have difficulty finding qualified equipment operators and truck drivers.

     
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    Is America on the road to ruin?

    All levels of government in the United States are facing a new era of capital financing and infrastructure management. In recent years, many revenue sources have diminished while others have evaporated entirely.

     
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    Dollars well spent: staying on top of technology

    Parcel data, regional and community maps, facility as-builts, building permits, and other collected data are the longstanding capital of public works departments. Systems to manage and better analyze these pieces of information, however, have advanced with technology, and public agencies need to be...

     
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    Letter to the Editor

     
  • Desalination development pushed

    Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., has introduced legislation to increase the federal government's role in developing desalination plants.

     
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    Program pairs engineer mentors with students

    In the National Engineers Week Future City competition, students—under the guidance of a teacher and engineer mentor—design a city on a computer using SimCity 3000, build a 3-D model, write an essay, and create an oral presentation. Regional winners receive all-expense-paid trips to the national...

     
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    Traffic signals receive near-failing grade

    The National Transportation Operations Coalition has released the National Traffic Signal Report Card, which gave traffic signal operations a score of D-.

     
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    Report highlights water fund successes

    The

     
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    U.S. traffic delays skyrocket

    , released by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), shows a dramatic increase in traffic congestion over the past two decades. Pete Ruane, president of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), points the finger squarely at government.

     
  • PUBLIC WORKS Briefs: July 2005

    Cutting electricity costs; detention pond design seminar; fund seeks to help rural projects; bipartisan group launches e-waste group; work-truck resource; highway groups product 'green' forum; aluminum can recycling increases.

     
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    Active and effective

    Safe drinking water plants should be at the top of the list for public works professionals. Adding security measures to a treatment system should be paramount.

     
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    Public works is child's play

     
  • Solid waste compaction equipment

    The BC1172RB refuse compactor features a premium wheel/tooth design, with one-piece, chill-cast teeth made of high-strength, wear-resistant material. Powered by a 536-hp, water-cooled engine, the unit has an operating weight of 120,000 pounds. Other characteristics include a sealed-tub design...

     
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    World-class compost facility makes waves

     
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    Trenchless option a success for new bike path

     
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    Keeping construction zones moving

     
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    Alternative automation for your plant

    Today's automation, computers, and communication systems have advanced to a level that provides for the implementation of user-friendly enhancements and increased choices for management of a water or wastewater plant's operation and data acquisition.

     
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    Put your plant on auto pilot

     
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    Pumping out the water

     
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    Dealing with disaster

    In 2004, four hurricanes made landfall in Florida. While not all of them impacted Marion County, we had the unusual misfortune of dealing with two of the storms in September—back-to-back. Both storms (Frances and Jeanne) were packing tropical storm force winds by the time they reached us, with...

     
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    Open-ended truck specifying speeds process

     
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    Letter to the editor

     
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    Association recognizes geospatial achievements

     
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    NTEA names new president

     
  • DHS completes National Response Plan

     
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    Academy recognizes excellence in environmental engineering

     
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    Association recognizes asphalt pavement achievements

     
  • FCC designates 811 as number for excavation activities

     
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    FEMA releases updated preparedness guide

     
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    Report: U.S. first responders underfunded

     
  • PUBLIC WORKS BRIEFS

     
  • Like a father

     
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    Public works vet turns little problem into big idea

     
  • Snow plows & accessories

     
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    Selecting a conveyor for your waste facility

     
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    Sewer cameras create cost savings

     
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    Battling green invaders

     
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    Total project management

     
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    Can microbes clean arsenic-contaminated groundwater?

    Microbial processes ultimately determine whether arsenic builds to dangerous levels in groundwater, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Remediation may be as simple as stimulating certain microbes to grow.

     
  • World of Concrete's most innovative products

    Computer equipment, construction software, construction tools, and more -- the most innovative products of 2007, chosen from the thousands on display at the World of Concrete trade show, held Jan. 2007 in Las Vegas.

     
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    Sweeping up after Mardi Gras

    Lafayette, La., which has a population of 105,000, annually hosts dozens of parades during the festive pre-Lenten season, sponsored by the Mystic Krewes of Mardi Gras. However, none is as important as the cleanup crew. Cleanup efforts by the city's Department of Public Works (DPW) involves several...

     
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    Steel reinforcement increases security of buildings

    Washington, D.C., is home to a large number of high-profile government offices, landmarks, and other buildings. These vulnerable structures require protection from the potential effects of terrorist attacks, so that the U.S. government and the people working for it can continue their important work...

     
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    Tough road calls for tough repair

    For the Cook County Highway Department, finding a durable, cost-effective solution for heavily traveled bus stops along Chicago's Western Avenue required creative thinking. Like other stops, these are constantly subjected to pushing, shoving, and rutting from the stress created by the starting and...

     
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    Making choices on the frontline

    The final responsibility for all decisions made in any business belongs to the manager. Managers strive to make informed decisions that will improve communication with staff, implement efficient business practices, and provide speedy resolutions to problems. Clear communication with staff allows...

     
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    From trash to treasure

    David A. Lorenz, executive director at South Suburban Park and Recreation District in the South Denver, Colo., metro area has eyed the closed Arapahoe County- owned landfill in Douglas County as a potential recreation site for years. Developers in Douglas County, the nation's fastest growing county...

     
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    Paving with roller compacted concrete

    This is the finest product for city streets to come along in years,” said Marty Savko of Nickolas Savko & Sons, Columbus, Ohio.

     
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    Pervious pavement naturally absorbent

    Pervious pavement is a design alternative that allows water to percolate through the pavement structure and into underlying soils—an achievement that directly conflicts with even lecture on traditional pavement design delivered in universities across the country.

     
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    Fleet software saves time, money

    If you want to avoid having horror stories to tell, said Sam Lamerato, do your homework thoroughly when choosing your fleet management software. It's a must to visit another government agency to see your prospective software in action, said Lamerato, former chairman of the Fleet Services Committee...

     
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    Embracing controversy with confidence

    The most challenging aspect of a municipal water professional's job is not always technology, budgets, and capacity issues. Rather, it is often the increased levels of public attention and conflict over new policies and projects. Managers, engineers, and their customers are finding that they need...

     
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    Making upgrades

    I love my Mac. At least I do when it works. Most people are very loyal to their computers, but I'm on a Mac at work and a PC at home. So really, I can go either way as long as the machine does what I want it to do. But computers often require upgrades. We're about to move into Mac OSX here at the...

     
  • Superfund progress contributes to healthy communities

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency demonstrated significant progress cleaning up high-priority contaminated sites in the national Superfund program, according to a released summary.

     
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    Paving devices increase safety of rural roads

    Approximately 3.1 million miles of rural roads stretch across America. As area populations increase and these roadways become more functional and busier, they also have become more deadly. In 2003, more than 21,000 people were killed on rural roads. Most rural roads have no shoulders, limiting a...