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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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    Poking a hole in manhole cover thieves' plans

    Thieves can be a bold, resourceful lot. They swipe Subarus in broad daylight, pilfer pants in the midst of crowded malls, and make off with makeup in busy department stores. These crimes cost retailers and citizens billions of dollars annually. A recent trend in theft, however, poses a threat to...

  • Trucks & accessories

    Operators are demanding more from their trucks, in terms of performance, versatility, and comfort. Manufacturers have responded by releasing new and upgraded vehicles and accessories to meet a broad range of needs and applications. These products offer more standard options, bigger payloads, easier...

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    HDPE pipe saves the day at air force base

    The landfill at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base (AFB) performs its intended function well but—according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency— its performance as a ponding basin for stormwater runoff was less impressive.

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    Weldable primer gives New York bridge longevity

    Opened on July 11, 1936, at a cost of $60 million, New York City's Triborough Bridge carried approximately 30,000 vehicles per day between Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx during its first year of operation. Today the bridge—actually a complex of three long-span bridges and related...

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    Reporting software makes tasks easier

    Public works directors are accustomed to dealing with heavy equipment, road bases, and guardrails, so selecting work-management software can present a challenge. Scott Bressler, operations manager of the Butler County Engineer's Office in Hamilton, Ohio, says, however, that choosing the appropriate...

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    Microtunneling in Hawaii

    Just 40 miles long and 26 miles wide, Oahu is not the biggest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, but it serves as the seat of government and is home to the state's largest city, Honolulu. It also is home to Honolulu Harbor, the largest and most singularly important of the state's commercial...

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    Setting standards

    Nestled in picturesque western Placer County just north of the state capital of Sacramento, the historic city of Lincoln, Calif., is called “a small community with big ideas.” In 1998 this small agricultural town had just 8500 residents. Today it is the fastest-growing city in the state. Lincoln's...

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    Increasing work-zone safety

    Water-filled longitudinal channelizing barricades provide clear visual guidance to vehicles and pedestrians approaching and traversing sudden, unusual, or unexpected traffic patterns around temporary work zones. In many instances, these barriers avoid the need to place concrete jersey barriers...

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    A quick scan

    Douglas Kuypers is a one-man laser-scanning team. In an ongoing project to develop maintenance plan data for the San Diego International Airport, Kuypers, with the Denver office of Woolpert Inc., used 3-D laser scanning to capture this data in the airport's Terminal 1. Using laser scanning slashed...

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    Replenishing ground water

    Despite the recent dramatic rains in California. Orange County remains in the midst of a prolonged drought affecting the entire Western United States. And with projections for large population increases of up to 500,000 people by 2020, combined with other environmental and political factors, Orange...

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    The quest for Mayberry

    Most public works directors and other local government employees that have pursued a career in this field have at one time or another began what I like to call a "Quest for Mayberry." Perhaps a better way of putting it is a quest for a utopian society, but being a big fan of the Andy Griffith show...

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    Compensation packages ease hiring problems

    Benefits packages help public works departments attract and retain qualified fleet mechanics, even if public-sector wages run somewhat below the private sector, say fleet managers. Shortages of qualified mechanics appear to be a regional problem.

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    A lucky, albeit leaky, find

    In the 1870s, city engineer Major Charles Davis was called to investigate a typical public works complaint—the dreaded “basement backup problem.” We can all imagine what Davis faced when he showed up to investigate—a group of homeowners upset with water flooding into their basements, absolutely...

  • Budget woes halt san diego water, sewer plans

    San Diego can't start construction on more than $334 million in water and sewer capital projects scheduled for this year until it resolves the financial crisis that has crippled its borrowing ability.

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    Water Security Congress Announced

    On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building terrorist bombing, security experts, water utility managers, and emergency responders will gather in Oklahoma City to confront issues related to the security of water supplies and infrastructure. The event will be held...

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    Company launches desalination research

    Black & Veatch, Overland Park, Kan., is leading a research project—sponsored jointly by the Awwa Research Foundation and the California Energy Commission—to develop a treatment process that reduces the cost and energy consumption for inland desalination with zero liquid discharge (ZLD). The team...

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    Fluoride debate arises in Oregon

    Less than a quarter of Oregon state residents drink fluoridated water, but health officials are campaigning for its increased use in public drinking water. Residents in areas without fluoridated water have been skeptical, deciding that messing with the water supply is not a wise trade-off for...

  • Farmers' market crash offers harsh lesson

    A crash at a farmers' market that killed 10 people and injured 63 sends an urgent warning to state and local traffic planners to ensure that safety barricades, detour signs, and barriers are adequate at locations where streets are temporarily closed, according to federal safety officials.

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    Rural roads prove deadly for Southeast drivers

    Rural two-lane highways are the largest single class of roads in the United States-and they are the deadliest, especially in the Southeast. From 1996 to 2000, almost one-third of the nation's traffic fatalities occurred in just eight southeastern states; of those, 64% occurred on rural roads...

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    PUBLIC WORKS BRIEFS: February 2005

    Partnership tackles water defense technology, White paper evaluates automated refuse collection, and other news.

  • Added value

    In the other half of my life, I am editor of CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION magazine. In that role, I have to keep in touch with the issues that weigh on the minds of concrete contractors—things like finding and keeping good employees, managing projects to stay on schedule, and struggling to control quality...