APWA AZ Newsletter 2020 October

APWA AZ Newsletter 2020 October

Public works are the services and infrastructure required to sustain quality community life.

NEWSLETTER                                                                                                                                                                      October 2020


November 19, 2020
APWA/ASCE/AACE Joint Meeting
More Info >


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Several members of our Board of Directors and other chapter members recently met to review and update our APWA-AZ Strategic Plan. This plan outlines our overall goals and specific action items to help accomplish those goals. This map keeps our ship moving in the right direction, especially as it relates to serving our members (YOU!)

After you read more about our goals and objectives outlined below, I bet you are going to think yourself, “Wow, our Chapter has a lot of initiatives that help make us an exceptional Chapter! I wonder how I can help?” Accomplishing these goals is no easy feat! We have many amazing volunteers that serve on our countless committees (ok, there are 21 committees to be exact) who work each year to achieve these goals, but we need your help. Please check out our Committee Directory (link below), to see if any are of interest to you. 

Each year, we review and update our goals in the following categories (these categories fall in line with National APWA goals):

  • VALUE: Promote the value of public works and enhance its visibility and awareness
  • VOICE: Be the voice of public works to government leaders and media
  • EDUCATION & CREDENTIALING: Ensure excellence in education and credentialing
  • MEMBERSHIP & CHAPTERS: Create a dynamic membership and chapter model

Here is a sampling of our goals and objectives:

  • Utilize a Peer Agency Awareness program - create value for agency participation
  • Promote and coordinate outreach activities for K-12 as well as higher education career awareness opportunities
  • Increase individual member and chapter engagement in government advocacy
  • Elevate APWA's reputation at both the state and local levels
  • Create a comprehensive strategic education and credentialing plan
  • Promote and enhance our Public Works Institute (PWI)
  • Increase net membership of chapter and branches

Thank you to all the members who have donated their time to help reach these goals. If you aren’t on a committee, I hope you consider joining one – you will not only give back to the association, but will likely make a new friend or two while you are at it. Reach out to any of the committee members in our directory.


Kristin Tytler, P.E. 

APWA/ASCE/AACE Joint Meeting
November 19, 2020
Topic: Future of Transportation with MAG and Sky Harbor, and a review of the ASCE Statewide Scorecard
Speakers: Eric Anderson (Maricopa Association of Governments), Heather Shelbrack (City of Phoenix Aviation Department), Jose Aguilar (ASCE)

New Member Spotlight
Be the next new APWA member to be featured!  This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself and to make new connections with potential clients and customers.

All it takes is to reach out to Suzanne Ledy at 480-644-3808 or Suzanne.ledy@mesaaz.gov

Who's Who in Public Works
If you work in Public Works and are interested in being spotlighted in our “Who’s Who in Public Works” Section, please contact Trace Baker at tbaker@logansimpson.com

Chapter News 
In June, APWA National awarded the Arizona Chapter the 2020 Presidential Award for Chapter Excellence (PACE) award. Unfortunately, the PWX awards ceremony was cancelled, but we recently received a certificate to recognize this achievement. Congratulations to all our members and our leadership for creating such a vibrant group of professionals!

Professional Development

Click, Listen, Learn
Preparing for the New Norm
October 29, 2020
More Info

Public Works Job Opportunities

This section allows agencies to advertise their open positions. Please provide your advertisement and/or link to tbaker@logansimpson.com or suzanne.ledy@mesaaz.govIn addition, check out the APWA Work Zone site! Job openings on the site may be sorted by key word and location. 

City of Apache Junction
Water District Superintendent  

City of Buckeye
Water Resources Operator I - Distribution
Water Resources Operator I - Wastewater Collections
Water Resources Operator III - Treatment
Water Resources Supervisor - Wastewater Treatment

City of Chandler
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator II/Operator I

Town of Gilbert 
Senior Project Manager - Capital Improvement Projects
Solid Waste Operator I
Streets Maintenance Worker I - Crack Seal/Fog Seal
Transportation Planning Manager
Utility Worker I & II - Water Distribution
Wastewater Utility Worker
Wastewater Utility Worker - Reclaimed Water Reuse/Recharge

City of Glendale
Business Analyst – Water Services
City Traffic Engineer
Industrial Maintenance Mechanic - Water Services Department
SCADA System Administrator - Water Services Department
Sr. Civil Engineer - Capital Improvement Program Management
Superintendent, Water Services Operations/Maintenance - Water Treatment Operations
Water Facilities Supervisor
Water Plant Operator, Sr.
Water Services System Tech, Sr. – Wastewater
Water Services System Technician, Sr. – Distribution

City of Goodyear
Assistant City Traffic Engineer

Town of Maricopa
Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budget Analyst
Deputy Director Public Services
Maintenance Worker – Streets
Street Maintenance Worker - Transfer Station

Maricopa County
Civil Engineer
Engineer - Traffic Studies
Engineering Program Manager
Facilities Project Manager
Permitting, Construction, and Inspections Division Manager
Project Manager

City of Mesa
Engineering Designer
Water Plant Maintenance Specialist I/II - Water Supply
Water Quality Supervisor
Water Resources Operator I/II - Water Reclamation
Water Resources Operator I/II - Water Treatment
Water Treatment/Reclamation Plant Operator/Maintenance Intern

City of Peoria
Contract Engineering Inspector
Associate Civil Engineer  
Utility System Operator I - Water Distribution

City of Phoenix
Maintenance Planner/Scheduler - Water Services (Critical Position)
Street Maintenance Foreman II (Critical Position)
Traffic Maintenance Foreman II (Critical Position)
Equipment Operator III - Signing and Striping  (Critical Position)
Water Facilities Supervisor (Critical Position)
Water Services Director (Critical Position)
Solid Waste Equipment Operator (Critical Position)
Utility Mechanic*SCBA (Critical Position)
Water Customer Service Supervisor I - Dispatch (Critical Position)
Water Services Technician (Critical Position)
Laboratory Technician - Water Services Department (Critical Position)

Town of Queen Creek
Project Manager - CIP

City of Scottsdale
Construction Admin Supervisor
Solid Waste Equipment Operator I
Solid Waste Equipment Operator II
W/WW Operations Supervisor - Utility Technology
Water Meter Technician I
Water Meter Technician III
Water Service Worker II
Water Treatment Plant Operator II

City of Tempe
Municipal Utilities Program Coordinator – Water Resources
Solid Waste Equipment Operator I/II+
Solid Waste Inspector
Senior Engineering Associate
Transportation Lead - Signing/Striping


The New Normal

The protocols for the types of masks used for protection against the Coronavirus were recently revised discouraging the use of neck gaiters as masks. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have published a visual guidance document on types of masks, their proper use, and other tips to stop the spread of the virus. 

Accelerated Pavement Maintenance Program

In 2019 and 2020, the City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department has treated more miles of pavement than ever before – essentially doing three years of work in just 10 months…and then repeating that feat. 

The City Council authorized an advance of $200 million from future Transportation 2050 (T2050) tax revenues. The T2050 tax was passed by voters to fund a 35-year transportation plan with strategic investments in bus, high-capacity transit and street transportation. The Council-authorized advance was used to accelerate the city’s pavement maintenance projects. With more than 4,850 miles of public streets in city limits, the Accelerated Pavement Maintenance Program (APMP) has made a significant positive impact on Phoenix residents and businesses as people travel throughout the city. Collaboration, innovative thinking and efficient practices are at the heart of this program.

Prioritizing Treatment Areas
The Street Transportation Department developed work plans for fiscal years 2021 through 2023 using a Pavement Management System (PMS) methodology. The foundation of PMS is field data collected from a specialized van with high-tech devices that measure and record road conditions to identify which streets require treatment. To supplement the PMS methodology, public input, gathered from a robust community engagement process, was also considered in the development of the workplan for fiscal years 2021 through 2023. The Street Transportation Department saw this accelerated process as an opportunity to engage with the community.

Public Engagement
GIS ‘Pin Drop’ Application
– An interactive web-based application was developed to engage the public by showing the users the proposed locations of maintenance projects. Additionally, users were able to add points to the map in three categories: potholes, rough roads, and other pavement issues. Users could place as many pins as they wished without providing any personal information. The goal was to crowd-source data to identify areas most in need of attention. Nearly 7,300 pin drops were captured. Staff also generated work requests to investigate any reported potholes.

A dashboard on the city system allowed staff to monitor in real-time how many points were placed, allowing feedback to be implemented prior to the end of the public input period. Interestingly, when overlaid with the objective pavement management data, the public’s areas of concern largely mirrored the data gathered through the PMS.

Public Meetings – To inform and engage the public, staff worked with the City Council to attend existing public meetings and plan new ones. Meeting opportunities included homeowners’ association and block-watch meetings, coffee chats, business alliances, outdoor events and others. These meetings allowed for one-on-one interaction with residents to listen to and record their input while also sharing information about planned improvements.

Overall, staff participated in more than 80 public meetings reaching an estimated 11,700 people.  The majority of these meetings took place in the first two months of the outreach effort.

Each of the 80 meetings involved multiple staff members to plan, prepare for and follow up with residents whose questions could not be answered in person. This was the largest single public engagement effort ever undertaken by the Street Transportation Department.

Project Coordination
– Using web-based applications, resources, and in-person meetings, a variety of public and private utility companies were engaged to better plan work in areas where multiple projects would occur in the same corridors. This effort minimized the number of cuts in freshly paved streets.

City Departments – Work also needed to be coordinated with other city departments that oversee work in city streets. By having direct and frequent communication, and improving resources to facilitate information sharing, staff were able to identify and resolve issues prior to work being done, minimizing pavement cuts and inconvenience to the public.

Managing of the Right-of-Way – To triple the number of miles paved, while maintaining good traffic flow and business access, it was critical for the team to work with the city’s Right-of-Way Management Office. The phasing of construction activities at multiple locations was reviewed to ensure there were minimal closures or restrictions on parallel routes at the same time. Staff took into consideration the special access requirements of schools, hospitals, fire stations and other critical services. Access was prioritized for shopping centers and freeways to minimize long backups. 

Bicycle Facilities – In many instances, resurfacing the street provided a blank slate to make adjustments to pavement striping. This allowed for the installation of new bicycle lanes and upgraded bicycle lane protection.

A conscious effort was made to thoroughly review locations that could receive a bicycle lane or improvement to existing bicycle lanes. This involved analyzing several criteria including lane widths, roadway geometry, traffic volumes, public input, mobility and connectivity.

Once locations for bicycle lanes were approved, the project team coordinated the public outreach needed, created the striping plans, and had approved plans in place prior to paving. This review process was strengthened to allow for the installation and improvement of as many bicycle lanes as possible. 

Public Engagement Continues

GIS Story Map Dashboard
– Once an extension of the APMP through 2023 was approved by the City Council, the department published an interactive GIS Story Map dashboard to educate the public on the APMP, describe the various pavement treatments, show the approved APMP locations and report on progress.

Staff worked behind the scenes on the visuals and the presentation of the information so that the map could be published on the Department’s website immediately after Council approval. The dashboard shows users’ location, types of treatment, timelines, and project completion information. The map is dynamic and is updated in real-time, allowing the Department to demonstrate progress as each paving project is completed. 

Creative Signage – To continue to engage the public during construction, the department made creative signs to share what was happening. Signs were developed to indicate that construction was coming, was in progress and to celebrate the end of construction. The signs featured humor or pop culture references related to movie openings or other trending topics. The signage was developed to be light-hearted and make people feel good about the construction, despite temporary inconveniences or delays.

The signs were fabricated in the city’s sign shop using existing materials. Further, they were designed to be reused with a new message replacing the center white section. With the initial batch of signs achieving the desired attention, a department-wide contest was launched to develop the next round of creative messages.

The deployment of the initial signs generated positive print, radio and television coverage.

Updates on construction and completed locations were consistently posted on the Department’s social media platforms. This also allowed the Communications and Public Engagement staff to engage with residents responding to the posts with unrelated concerns. Press conferences celebrating the beginning and end of the inaugural paving season resulted in positive news stories and updates. Coverage included print, television and radio stories.

Seeing the Possible in the Impossible
The APMP program’s success is directly attributable to a team that decided to embrace innovation, continually sought opportunities to streamline business processes, engaged the public and repeatedly adapted to changing circumstances. Keep tabs on the city’s progress using the interactive, mobile-friendly GIS Pavement Dashboard.


Local Transportation Bond Initiatives
Mesa and Tempe residents will vote on transportation bonds on November 3.The City of Mesa’s bond authorizes $100 million in general obligation bonds for 12 projects, including the Gateway Freeway (SR 24), arterial reconstructions, street improvements, and multimodal projects. If successful, $60 million would be eligible for matching funds from the Maricopa Association of Governments.

Tempe residents will vote on $74 million in bonds, which includes funding for highway, street, bridge, and pedestrian projects, as well as improvements to traffic controls, street lighting, and signage.

Gilbert’s Town Council expects to include a $465 million transportation bond in 2021. Originally slated for 2020, the question was left off the ballot because of the economic effects of Covid-19.

Deadline Extended: 2021 PWX Proposals due Friday, Oct. 30!

APWA National has extended the deadline for 2021 PWX proposals to Friday, October 30. Don't miss your chance, submit your proposal today!

Vote for the Top Technologies for Public Works!
Vote on the top technologies for public works! Results will published in the January issue of the APWA Reporter. (https://www.apwa.net/toptech)

PWX @ Home
APWA continues its PWX@ Home Series. Monthly topics include: 
  • October – Winter Maintenance
  • November – Operations & Maintenance
  • December – Leadership & Management
  • January – Engineering & Technology/Asset Management
  • February – Water Resources
  • March – Solid Waste
  • April – Facilities & Grounds
  • May – Sustainability
  • June – Emergency Management
  • July - Transportation

Public works are the services and infrastructure required to sustain quality community life.

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