• PUBLIC WORKS Special Report: 2007 Forecast

    Budget increases are outpacing cuts five to one this year, 12 percent of public works budgets were cut going into 2007, and one-third are flat compared to 2006. The bottom line: Funding for public intrastructure is up, but not enough to suit most managers' needs. Read our special report on the 2007...

     
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    Clang, clang, clang went the trolley

    It might have been the end of the line for a retired trolley car, had a group of dedicated railway enthusiasts not stepped up to revive it. As a result, the car is nearly restored to its former glory, and the people behind its rejuvenation got a valuable lesson in how to use federal transportation...

     
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    World of Concrete 2007's Most Innovative Products

     
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    Forming a better plan

    When the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services needed to pour a 4,000-foot bike path that connects an existing path in Burbank, Calif., to the North Hollywood arts district, it abandoned traditional wood forms in favor of reusable metal forms and a truss screed that simplified finishing. In...

     
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    Sealing the Deal

    Manhole products help utility run a (water)tight operation.

     
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    Remote control

    As prices drop, real-time tracking and dispatching systems are no longer an option reserved for police, fire, and emergency services.

     
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    Connecting the dots

    Geographic information systems evolve with each advance in computer and telecommunications technology.

     
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    Starting off with a splash

    Determining an appropriate rate structure can be tricky, but with careful preparation, thinking long-term, and selecting a good staff, it can be done.

     
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    A customized approach

    One size does not fit all when it comes to designing curb ramps. Three real-world examples show how it's done.

     
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    Curb appeal

    Discover the beauty and benefits of decorative pavement. By taking a decorative approach, cities do more than dress themselves up. They increase the visibility and awareness of crosswalks and bike paths, calm traffic without creating an eyesore, and revitalize neighborhoods and business districts...

     
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    Forecast 2007: Water

    When it comes to the nation's potable-water supply, critical issues remain the same as last year, though some items—like U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations—shift slightly as scientists obtain more information about the effects of various compounds and impurities on public health.

     
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    Forecast 2007: wastewater/stormwater

     
  • Forecast 2007: public grounds

    As it did last year, “green space” is becoming increasingly important as we lose more of it to development. Today's policy makers are more aware of how urban forests cool cities, lower energy consumption, and reduce greenhouse gases.

     
  • Forecast 2007: municipal solid waste

    Not a lot to worry about here this year: As long as there's garbage, municipal solid waste (MSW) managers will have a job. The issues they'll face this year, however, are where that garbage is going and how its treatment is changing. As recycling grows, the amount of waste sent to landfills is...

     
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    2007 Forecast: Fleets

    Even though truck sales in general are declining, sales to state and local governments will remain even with last year. Municipal fleets won't feel the money crunch or tightening emissions crunch until late 2007 or 2008—and later.

     
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    2007 Forecast: supply costs

    Expect the price of construction materials to rise by 6% to 8%, says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Arlington, Va.

     
  • 2007 Forecast: A regional snapshot

    In early November, we asked readers if their 2007 operational and capital budgets would be up, down, or flat compared to 2006. Then we divided the nation into five regions and compared budget expectations. Here are the results

     
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    2007 Forecast: Variable Conditions

    At first glance, the forecast for the year ahead calls for clear skies. But dig a little deeper, and the outlook gets murkier. To get a handle on how public works departments are being financially supported in their efforts to care for the infrastructure, both on a day-to-day level as well as for...

     
  • Book clears up congestion

    by Ted Balaker and Sam Staley, comes out of the Reason Foundation's Galvin Mobility Project, an initiative to reduce traffic congestion and promote progressive transportation planning.

     
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    Denver EPA goes green

    The U.S. EPA's new 232,000-square-foot facility in Denver was built with the goal of earning a Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council.

     
  • People wishy-washy on water

    An online poll indicates that people have mixed feelings when it comes to the taste and odor of their local public water.

     
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    Plant gets double dose of excellence

    Although it's still under construction, Scottsdale, Ariz.'s Chaparral Water Treatment Plant has already garnered two awards: for design and for public art.

     
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    Portland's porous pavement a prize

     
  • PUBLIC WORK Briefs: January 2007

    Florida students design winning plants; Chicago gives e-waste new home; New technique cuts cost of treatment; and more ....

     
  • down & dirty

    Brief items chronicling the unusual side of news for PUBLIC WORKS.

     
  • Pothole problem met with naked anger

    In a unique protest over the plentiful potholes on Highway 32 in Leader, Saskatchewan, the farming community's residents decided to take it all off for a fundraising calendar.

     
  • Robot terrorizes light bulbs

    It looks like a psycho robot from a 1950s sci-fi flick, but a monster machine at the University of Calgary, Alberta, only mauls and munches old fluorescent light bulbs—not humans.

     
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    Penny-wise? Pound-foolish!