NATIONAL CONFERENCE (PWX) – A GRAND SLAM IN SEATTLE:
I’ve just returned from our National Conference (PWX) in Seattle and if you’ve never been, you really should try to go to one during your career. I can’t tell you how interesting it is to network with Public Works colleagues from around the country, but also to hear of the leading-edge technology that is heading our way. For most of my career, Civil Engineering has lagged on the low end of the tech-spectrum, but that will be changing soon in a big way with the coming wave of “Smart Cities”. The conference sessions on Autonomous Vehicles (AV) and micro-transit were terrific and brought out many side-effects not previously vetted. It was interesting to hear one forecast that AV will decrease congestion, and another that AV will increase congestion. The ripple effect from this technology is unprecedented and profound. Ranging from reverse urbanization with “Transportation as a Service” (TAAS), to dedicated driverless lanes and reduced lane widths, to the reduction of car ownership, traffic signals, road widening projects, the use of mass transit and the complete re-design of the typical suburban house.
Another hot topic was the issue of Homelessness. It seems that all cities of any size are really struggling with this and that there are no easy answers to this complicated problem.
These topics and many more are covered by the leading thinkers in our field, so again, I would encourage each member to attend at least one National APWA Conference in your careers.
PWX attendees from Arizona: (left to right) Myka Shrader, Alfred Alvires, Sandy Niebel, Denise Brewer, Matt Maddux, Jennifer Toth, Loretta Flick, Kristin Tytler, Rob Kidder, Chris Ewell, Beth Huning, Nancy Cole, Wendy Springborn, David Fabiano
Arizona Board of Directors receiving Nationals PACE Award: (left to right) National President Dave Lawry, Kristin Tytler, Nancy Cole, Sandy Niebel, Rob Kidder, Wendy Springborn, and Chris Ewell
APWA NAB Trap Shooting Tournament October 25, 2019
St. Vincent de Paul Dream Center Tutoring November 6, 2019
New Member Spotlight
Name and Title:George White, Transportation Design Specialist
Agency: AZ Roundabouts
With APWA Since: July 2019
Describe your job responsibilities: I have 30 years of traffic and transportation design experience and the last 15 of them designing and now teaching, modern roundabouts, so design is my default and I enjoy being a “hands on” co-owner and directly involved in our projects. I find however, that you also have to wear many hats as a business owner and every day brings new opportunities to step outside of your comfort zone.
What was your favorite project to work on in the last 10 years? I would say co-writing and illustrating the new Roundabouts, Section 6.2 of MCDOT’s Roadway Design Manual was one of my favorites. For design I would say the Ak-Chin Casino roundabout that is a Turbo Hybrid and the Madison Street roundabout and circulation on the Phoenix Sky Train project. I worked on everything from demolition plans to the roundabout design, traffic signals, signs and paint, and delivery truck circulation for 44th Street Station area.
Where have your travels taken you? I have been fortunate to work in 11 states with constructed roundabouts in AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, MN, NV and TX and I had opportunities to do design and presentations with Texas Chapter APWA, TexITE and CalTrans.
Name one thing not many people know about you: As a Sons of the American Revolution member, I volunteer as the AZ State Webmaster for all 8 chapters and the Rocky Mountain District page that covers AZ, CO and NM.
Chris Eggers, PE
Stantec Consulting Inc.
James A. Mayer
City of Phoenix
Who's Who in Public Works
Name: Chris Ewell
Agency: City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department
Title: Deputy Director-Traffic Services Division
What are you responsible for in your new role?
Signing and Striping Operations
Neighborhood Traffic Issues
Utility Coordination and Inspection
How long have you been in this position?
Where did you work previously?
Deputy Director-Street Transportation Department DCM
What Challenges do you experience in your role?
Competing priorities for resources (people, money and time)
Keeping up with the speed of technology
Effectively communicating with everyone
How long have you been an APWA member?
Nearly five years
Have you served on the Board or any committees?
I am a current Board Member and Board Liaison for the Conference Committee
What benefits do you get out of being a member?
Connection to private and public sector in the region
Exposure to what challenges others are facing
Sense of pride and purpose for what we all do
What would you like to share with APWA Members?
Stay engaged and get involved
We need to attract the next generations to be relevant on a national level
Arizona Museum of Natural History - Dinosaur Facade Installation
Agency: City of Mesa Primary Contractor: CORE Construction, Inc. Primary Consultant: Dimensional Innovations
The Arizona Museum of Natural History is located in downtown Mesa and serves to tell the story of Arizona’s past. To enhance the story, the museum commissioned the construction of a full-scale replica of an anatomically correct Acrocanthosaurus breaking out of the front face of the museum. The Acrocanthosaurus was chosen by the museum because it is one of the largest carnivores indigenous to the Southwestern United States coming in at 38 feet from nose to tail. This project evolved through many phases starting with a quarter-scale replica of the Acrocanthosaurus that was developed by the museum staff and volunteers. This model served as the basis for the full-scale replica to come.
Dimensional Innovations out of Kansas City, along with Stabb Studios were selected as the design team to create the façade. Initially a 1/10th scale model was molded. The team worked closely with the City’s archeologists and anthropologist to mimic the details that would bring the creature to life. Fabrication of the creature consisted of an aluminum frame with 7 anchor bolts that are attached through the exterior wall of the museum. The core of the dinosaur is a high-density foam that was cut and molded with the use of 3D scans of the 1/10th scale model to create an exact replica. The sculpture was finished with a moldable epoxy resin, UV resistant paint, and a final clear coat for added protection.
The Acrocanthosaurus was shipped from Kansas City to Mesa in three pieces; the head, body, and leg. A two-man crew accompanied the façade and joined with CORE Construction to complete the installation. Prior to arrival, CORE had prepared the building face for the installation. As a result of extensive pre-planning on the part of all team members, the installation was mostly seamless. When the frame and anchor system were fabricated, the design team also created a series of installation templates that the construction team used to predrill all of the anchor locations before delivery. This allowed the main component of the dinosaur façade to be installed in a few short hours. Finally, the breakout pieces were installed, then landscaping and lighting were added to bring the façade to life.
Fastest Growing City in the U.S.
The City of Buckeye is one of the most dynamic communities in the country, and provides virtually unlimited investment opportunities.On May 23, 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that Buckeye is now the fastest growing city in the entire United States.This once sleepy farming community with around 6,000 people in the year 2000 has evolved into a vibrant community of 84,000 residents today.Buckeye is expected to top 100,000 people by 2021, 150,000 by the year 2030, and 300,000 by the year 2040.At buildout, Buckeye is expected to be well over 1 million people.
As a result of this tremendous growth, Buckeye has seen significant new development in all real estate sectors, and will be seeing even more in the coming years:
Residential: Buckeye has been averaging about 2,200 new single family units per year, but this year is on pace to do approximately 2,400 units. With plenty of land and over 30 active subdivisions, we expect this activity to continue at a high pace for many years to come.
Employment: With over 90% of the residents leaving the community every day for jobs in other communities, a very high priority for the City is the attraction of major new employers. Buckeye’s strengths -- including an excellent multi-modal transportation system, an available, growing, and skilled labor force, and large developable land parcels -- lend itself to logistics/distribution, advanced manufacturing, and energy companies. Recent new locates, including Cardinal Glass, Parker Fasteners, and Embark Trucks, are demonstrating the viability of Buckeye as a business location.
Retail/Services: Due to the rapid population growth, Buckeye is currently underserved in many categories of retail and services; therefore many excellent opportunities exist for new development. Some of the recent new retail and service providers to Buckeye include Aldi, Planet Fitness, Dutch Bros., Fry’s, Simon Med Imaging, and the expansion of West MEC.
Tourism: Buckeye is seeing new hotel and tourist oriented activities development. MyPlace and Hilton Home 2 hotels are currently under development. Outdoor recreational opportunities, include Buckeye Lakes and Skyline Regional Park, along with I-10 travelers, are driving this new tourism activity.
To support all of this growth, the City is investing heavily in new infrastructure. The current City budget has earmarked almost 50% of expenditures for new Capital Improvement Program projects. Key projects this year include the new Tartesso Fire Station, the Police Evidence and Training building, phase 2 of Sundance Park, and the Broadway Road Water Campus.
Buckeye is the right community at the right time. Come experience why the City of Buckeye is living up to its reputation as “Arizona’s Biggest Opportunity”!
Public works are the services and infrastructure required to sustain quality community life.