Another month has gone by and we had a rousing Public Works week this May. Several groups celebrated their involvement in Public Works and we had a Gubernatorial proclamation and several other agencies joined in and celebrated the public works efforts of all the dedicated people that make up our public works community. A thought came to me about how important public works is to all of us. The house you live in would just be a big box without public works supplying all of the conveniences that contribute to our life styles. A special thanks to our utility companies that supply our electricity, water, sewer services natural gas, telephone service, cable and so many other services that many take for granted. Thanks to all the public works employees that issue permits and coordinate so many various elements of our life style. Of course, we cannot forget the transportation people who build and maintain our road system. Although we have many people dedicated to maintenance in Arizona, many jurisdictions have had serious funding issues due to the sweeping of funds and transfer of funding from transportation to other uses. This has resulted in a restriction of scheduled maintenance and deferring maintenance of roadways and the associated items (striping, signs and markers). The pavement condition rating of many Arizona roads has deteriorated rapidly and some of them are in bad condition right now. A good example is I-10 between Quartzite and Phoenix. For those of you who have driven that recently, you know what I am talking about. Raveling, potholes and severe cracking has compromised our Interstate 10 to a point where it is causing issues for those who use it for business purposes hauling freight to Phoenix from California. Let’s hope that our roadways gain the attention they need in the upcoming year!
Moving into the middle of summer, we should be focused on the upcoming APWA Congress. It is only 3 months away. I was invited to speak at the Utility Coordinators meeting by Al Field and briefed them on the Congress and invited them to attend. They were very interested and there will probably be some volunteers coming from that group as well. The excitement is building and I am happy to see it! We should all come together and be a team as we go into the Congress events!!
We have so many things going on and so many efforts to build a good Congress with our APWA National team that it is interesting to watch all of the groups working on their individual elements of the Congress.
Thanks to all of you for making it happen and bring a guest to the next luncheon and let them see what is happening at APWA!
Until next time, have a good June!
Sincerely, John Hauskins ARIZONA CHAPTER PRESIDENT
2015 Report Card for Arizona’s Infrastructure
Report By: American Society for Civil Engineers
Infrastructure is all of the systems built to make our lives better and our economy more efficient. Roads, water pipes, dams, railways and much more make up the modern infrastructure you use every day.
So, how is Arizona’s infrastructure doing overall and what needs to be done? The Arizona Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) compiled a volunteer team of civil engineers from the public, private and non-profit sectors with wide-ranging infrastructure industry expertise to prepare a school-style Report Card for Arizona’s Infrastructure. Using a simple A to F grading system, the Report Card takes stock of information related to Arizona’s infrastructure for 9 specific infrastructure types and what should be done to raise the grades.
This Report Card builds upon the findings of ASCE’s National Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, most recently published in 2013. Evaluations were based on the following criteria:
> Capacity – Does Arizona’s infrastructure have adequate capacity to serve the public now and in the future?
> Condition – What is the condition of the existing infrastructure and how will it affect its reliability and safety?
> Operations and Maintenance – Is there adequate funding and planning for proper operations and maintenance now and in the future? Will facilities meet regulatory requirements?
> Funding – Is there adequate funding for capital and capacity improvements as well as operations and maintenance to extend the working life of infrastructure assets?
> Public Safety – Without needed improvements, will public safety be jeopardized? What are the consequences of a failure to maintain the state’s infrastructure?
> Resilience – Is the current infrastructure adequate to protect against natural hazards? Can critical services be recovered quickly in an emergency?
> Innovation – How innovative is the operation, financing, and maintenance of the infrastructure?
2015 Report Card Aviation: B- Bridges: B Dams: C Drinking Water: C- Levees: C- Rail: C+ Roads: D+ Transit: C+ Wastewater: C
GPA = C
What You Need to Know About Arizona’s Infrastructure
Rail: C+ Rail infrastructure in Arizona serves both freight and passengers. Most of the Class 1 freight, short line, industrial, and tourist railroads within Arizona were originally commissioned between 1880 and 1920, with a few exceptions, these lines have kept up with routine maintenance and modern improvements. In 2011, the State Rail Plan reported the operational performance of freight railroads was good but in need of a long-term vision and that there is adequate market reach. However, some rail lines are limited by urban encroachment, unavailable land for yard expansion, limited connections to Mexico and constrained freight car fleet markets. All of the railroads within Arizona are privately funded, and while investment has been high for two decades, future needs for capacity and improvement could require up to $850 million through 2035. Passenger rail operations and planning in Arizona consist of Amtrak intercity, interregional commuter rail, and regional commuter rail. Estimated needs for Arizona’s rail passenger services are between $6 to $12 billion to continue to serve urban corridor markets and be a viable alternative to air and car travel for intercity markets.
Drinking Water: C- Safe and adequate water supplies and treatment are critical to the future and economy of Arizona, the 4th driest state in the nation. Arizona’s drinking water comes 4 sources – the Colorado River, surface water from lakes and rivers, groundwater, and reclaimed water— and is delivered by nearly 1,700 public water systems which must be maintained and upgraded to meet current and future demands. Much of Arizona’s water infrastructure is over 30 years old, and one of the challenges facing Arizona’s water infrastructure is the need to rehabilitate or replace deteriorating infrastructure. The state’s approximately 800 community water systems reported a need of $7.4 billion for Arizona’s public drinking water systems over the next 20 years including: $5 billion to replace or rehabilitate deteriorating water lines, $1.4 billion to construct, expand, and rehabilitate treatment infrastructure, $684 million to construct or rehabilitate water storage reservoirs, and $334 million to construct or rehabilitate wells or surface water intake structures. As the water infrastructure ages, pipes begins to deteriorate and break causing street and property damage and leak, wasting valuable treated water; steel water storage tanks need to be sand blasted and recoated to prevent rust and deterioration; and mechanical equipment such as pumps and motors wearing out and needing to be replaced. Over 2,600 miles of transmission and distribution mains are currently in need of rehabilitation or replacement.
Bridges: B Arizona has 8,035 bridges listed in the state bridge inventory encompassing 53 million square feet of bridge deck, 29th largest in national ranking. Arizona has 256 bridges listed as Structurally Deficient, and the estimated replacement cost for the SD bridges alone is about $220 million, costing about $100 per square foot. Roughly 50% of Arizona’s bridge inventory is more than 40 years old and 80% more than 20 years old. Age is an important indicator for bridges, not only because of the passage of time, but also other factors relevant to their age, like evolving design standards as well as traffic and environmental “wear and tear.” Arizona’s bridges are generally in good condition due to the bridge inspection program; however, funding to maintain them and to support the State’s above average growth rate will be a major issue in the years ahead. Only 51% of fees like the Vehicle License Tax are actually used for transportation and federal funding has become unreliable.
Wastewater: C Wastewater systems, made up of pipe systems and treatment facilities, provide a safe and cost-effective way to dispose of and clean used water from homes and industry. They protect the environment and water quality as well as recapture and reuse reclaimed water, which is critical to the state’s water supply. Arizona’s innovative reuse of treated, reclaimed water has resulted in reuse of as much as 85% of the state’s wastewater. Arizona has 120 wastewater treatment plants of varying sizes with several dozen more planned as flows continue to increase with the state’s growth. Some smaller communities do not have collection and treatment systems or use outdated methods like lagoons, and 20% of the state’s wastewater treatment plants, mostly smaller rural communities, were receiving flows at or beyond their permitted capacity. Many portions of Arizona’s wastewater systems are 50 years old or more, and the warm climate shortens their useful life and causes corrosive hydrogen sulfide to corrode and break pipes. Due to the recession, many of Arizona’s wastewater plants suffer from deferred maintenance issues that now require attention. Wastewater flows statewide are projected to more than double to nearly 850 million gallons per day within the next 20 years, and the identified need for wastewater treatment and collection improvements is $4.4 billion. Another future challenges facing Arizona’s wastewater facilities is the need to deal with increasing salinity caused by widespread use of salt-based home and industrial water softening systems, which significantly compounds the problem.
Dams: C- Dams, like the Hoover Dam and Roosevelt Dam, have played an important role in Arizona’s development for over 100 years. In addition to well-known landmarks, there are 373 registered dams operating in Arizona. Arizona’s dam inventory is aging, and the number of high-hazard dams is on the rise with 107 classified as high hazard in 2014. A high-hazard dam is one where failure or mis-operation is expected to result in loss of life and may also cause significant economic losses, including damages to downstream property or critical infrastructure, environmental damage, or disruption of lifeline facilities. Many of these dams were built as significant-hazard and low-hazard potential dams protecting agricultural land; however, with an increasing population and greater urban and suburban development downstream from these dams, the overall number of high-hazard dams continues to increase. About 39% of Arizona’s jurisdictional dams are privately owned, and due to limited owner resources and a lack of available funding, many of these dams lack proper maintenance and timely rehabilitation.
Roads: D+ Arizona’s roads, support, maintain, and can increase the economic activity of every town, city, county and Arizona, but they can also have the opposite affect without maintenance and management. Seventeen percent of Arizona’s urban roads are in poor condition, and driving on roads in need of repair costs Arizona motorists $1.5 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs –that’s $318 per motorist! Arizona’s system of 60,000 miles of roadways serves as a critical link moving over 6 million people who travel 63 billion miles annually as well as goods throughout the state and country. The Arizona Department of Transportation estimates that over the next 25 years a minimum of $24 billion will be required just to maintain current assets, with a minimum of $49 billion required to bring the state transportation system up to acceptable performance levels, and as much as $193 billion required support an aggressive growth strategy. Fewer than 50% of Arizona’s roadway needs can be addressed with expected baseline revenues. Arizona’s and the national primary funding source, a gasoline sales tax, is not keeping up with needs, and the diversion of transportation related taxes and fees to other areas is resulting in a funding shortfall that won’t allow Arizona to keep up with projected growth and commerce.
Levees: C- A levee is a man-made structure, usually an earthen embankment, designed to contain, control, or divert the flow of water to provide protection from temporary flooding. Levees have been a part of Arizona’s flood management system for over a century, yet public interest in the condition of levees has increased as disasters in other places have reminded us of the potential hazard that can result from under designed or poorly maintained levees. Arizona has approximately 1,293 miles of levees, and while there is a limited number of levees and dikes in Arizona, there are still significant impacts associated with failure of these facilities.
Transit: C+ Within Arizona there are 40 transit providers in 13 counties using express buses, light rail, streetcars, neighborhood circulators and shuttles, rural connector buses, dial-a-ride and vanpools to serve the state’s 6.7 million people. Over the next 25 years, the state’s report on needs estimates that capital and operations will cost about $25 billion to keep systems at a “good” or “better” condition rating, but surprisingly, there is no current dedicated, statewide funding source for transit. Arizona is growing and so are the number of transit options and riders, but even within metropolitan areas of Arizona, much of the population does not have reasonable accessibility to transit. As the population ages and younger generations drive less, the imbalance between transit need and transit availability will become more apparent within Arizona.
Aviation: B- Arizona’s 83 airports vary in size and function from large commercial service facilities to small rural airports. Arizona’s largest airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, is the 6th busiest airport in the U.S. with nearly 20 million passengers passing through its boarding gates each year. Arizona ranks 5th in the U.S. for active general aviation aircraft, and 5 of the state’s airports are listed in the nation’s top 25 for number of aircraft operations. An efficient and well maintained airport system is critical to the economic growth of the state. Over 400,000 jobs (that’s 16.8% of all the state’s employment) are directly or indirectly related to aviation. The system also supports the quality of life of Arizona’s residents by accommodating business, recreational, health, welfare, and safety related services such as aircraft firefighting activities, search and rescue missions, medical patient transport, news reporting, and business and recreational travel.
Raise the Grade: 5 Key Solutions
1. We need infrastructure every day so we have to keep it working with good maintenance. Maintenance is the every day work you just have to do to keep things moving, and Arizona’s infrastructure needs it. Sometimes it’s all about the basics, and maintenance is the basic first step to good infrastructure.
2. Investing in infrastructure has allowed Arizona to grow, and investing in smart projects will keep it growing. Arizona has seen exciting new infrastructure projects over the last decade become selling points for the state and bring in new residents and businesses. New investments in critical corridors and freight connections can lead to new opportunities. Let’s keep this going!
3. Every community’s leaders should order an infrastructure health check-up. Just like your body, infrastructure is a system. The water pipes and roads and railways are the arteries that keep the state moving so it’s worth asking – how is your area’s infrastructure doing? Just like a physical, infrastructure needs regular evaluations.
4. Borrowing from infrastructure funds just means you’ll pay more tomorrow. Arizona’s leaders have to make tough budget choices, but not using infrastructure dollars for needed projects today will lead to more expensive project costs down the road and infrastructure that hinders growth rather than supports it.
5. Planning for Arizona’s future starts today with sustainable choices, innovative investments, and resilience. Arizona’s projected growth is both an opportunity and a challenge. It will require continued focus by the state’s leaders to adopt sustainable practices and innovate to be competitive.
See the Industry News section for a story about the City of Phoenix’s Transportation 2050 Plan and their efforts to get the plan approved on August 25th. In the coming months we will highlight other municipalities’ plans to improve infrastructure in their communities.
Connecting Tucson through Downtown Links
Contributed by Kelly Kaysonepheth, HDR
This project, led by HDR as the design engineer, will provide multimodal links (vehicle, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian) between the Barraza-Aviation Parkway and Interstate 10 (I-10), Broadway Boulevard and the Fourth Avenue shopping district, Downtown and the neighborhoods to its north. It involves three separate construction packages, two of which HDR has successfully delivered with the third currently in final design. The three packages are as follows:
> Phase 1 – 8th Street Drainage: Construction is complete on this $7.5 million project.
> Phase 2 – St. Mary’s Road, I-10 to Church Avenue: This $7.3 million project is complete. The phase of the project will also be recognized later this summer as the2015 Arizona Public Works Project of the Year under the Transportation ($5M but less than $25M) Category. The Phase 2 features southern Arizona's first protective bike lane, a new bike/pedestrian HAWK, improved drainage, passive water harvesting, new LED lighting, widened sidewalks, a new parking facility, improved infrastructure, and lively public art.
> Phase 3 – Downtown Links, 6th Street Underpass to Broadway Boulevard: Approximately $60 million is estimated for construction of the final phase with final design anticipated soon.
HDR worked with tight space constraints in an urban environment. This project involves completion of the planning and design of the “last mile” of Barraza-Aviation Parkway. A new four-lane roadway north of the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) tracks will connect Barraza-Aviation Parkway to 6th Street and I-10, offering alternative access to Downtown, a new grade-separated railroad crossing, new sidewalks, and a new multi-use path providing enhanced multimodal connections, and approximately 70,000 SF of concrete retaining walls.
These improvements present a number of difficult technical issues including the design and construction of a new UPRR railroad underpass structure over 6th Street, a new Maclovio Barraza Parkway overpass structure at 6th Avenue, 9th Avenue deck plaza over 6th Street east of the UPRR underpass, relocation of the 6th Street alignment into the south end of Dunbar Spring neighborhood, and relocation and enlarging of the 80-year-old Tucson Arroyo box culvert with a new 2-10’x12’ precast and cast-in-place concrete culvert. Improvements to the Tucson Arroyo box culvert (8th Street Drainage project) and new roadway drainage system will remove parts of Downtown from the 100-year floodplain.
This is a high-visibility project with substantial interaction with various stakeholders, neighborhood and merchant groups, client staff, and elected officials. Downtown Links is part of the long-range Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) plan that was approved by Tucson-area voters in May 2006. All of the projects contained in the plan, including Downtown Links, will be funded by a half-cent transportation sales tax that went into effect on July 1, 2006.
Painted Desert Sponsors: Achen-Gardner Construction ~ Civil & Environmental Consultants ~ Engineering and Environment Consultants, Inc. ~EPS Group ~ Infra-Tech ~ Michael Baker International ~ Speedie and Associates ~ SRP ~ Terracon ~ Wood Patel
Volunteer Sign-up for the APWA International Public Works Congress & Expo to be held at the Phoenix Convention Center from August 30 to September 2 is open on National’s website!
The 2015 Congress Volunteers sub-committee is preparing for the big push to fill over 500 volunteer slots needed to make Congress a big success! Based on past Congress experience, we anticipate these slots will be filled by over 350 individual volunteers, most of whom will come from your organizations. These volunteers will be needed for such assignments as “Congress Concierge” at the event hotels, checking attendees in and out of educational sessions, way finding around the Convention Center, and assisting vendors and visitors on the exposition floor, among other similar assignments. At times there will be as many as 100 volunteers working.
So, why would you volunteer, and how do you sign up?
The main benefits of volunteering are easy:
1. You get a chance to give back to the profession and your peers by serving them at the premier public works event!
2. When you sign up for a half-day volunteer slot you will get free admission to Congress for the other half-day. If your agency can’t afford to register multiple employees, look at this as a way to get them into the event free by volunteering to work for a half-day.
4. This is an opportunity for you to show the pride we have for our great state of Arizona to public works professionals from all over the world!
3. And best of all, think about the stylish volunteer shirt you get to wear on your day of service – and it’s yours to keep. WOW!
Note: If you plan to have multiple staff volunteer to get them a chance to experience the event, now would be a good time to start scheduling the timing. so everyone isn’t trying to volunteer for the same day. The main days for Congress are Sunday August 30th through Wednesday September 2nd, but we will need some volunteers on Saturday August 29th and Thursday September 3rd as well.
Thank you for supporting APWA!!!
Rebecca Timmer Jeff Kramer Dibble Engineering Alliance for Construction Excellence
The 2015 Congress Publicity/Exhibit Committee has developed a strategy for promoting Congress at various regional conferences. Members of the committee and/or members of the local/regional associations will attend conferences and meetings to promote Congress by manning a booth, handing out fliers, and answering general questions. If you are planning to attend an upcoming conference or meeting and would like to help us promote Congress, please contact Amanda McGennis email@example.com or Scott Kirchhofer firstname.lastname@example.org
Our 2015 Congress promo booth was at the 2015 AZ Water Annual Conference & Exhibition at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa on May 6-8. Thanks very much to Deborah Muse, Executive Manager of AZ Water Association, for providing us with a great space to feature our special event.
The Committee has acquired some promotional materials for distribution. With the help of David Dancy, APWA Director of Marketing, we have a Save The Date postcard, an Exhibitor Brochure and the 2015 Congress Preview. These promos can be found at the links below and they are free for anyone to print and distribute. Actually, printing and distributing these materials is highly encouraged since we are all on the same team and want to promote Congress as much as possible to maximize the number of exhibitors and attendees.
Since January, members Arizona Chapter APWA and other industry professionals have written articles that promote Arizona. These articles have been featured in APWA email blasts and the APWA Reporter magazine in an effort to build interest in the 2015 Congress. Click the images below to see the May and June promotional articles that were featured in the APWA Reporter.
The following story is among others to come in a series that will highlight what various Arizona municipalities are doing to improve infrastructure in their communities.
Submitted by: Matthew Heil, Public Information Officer, Phoenix Public Transit Department
Click on images to view full size.
Transportation infrastructure and services will be a major topic of discussion this summer as Phoenix residents consider adopting a citywide transportation plan at an election on Aug. 25. Called Transportation 2050, the plan was developed by the Citizens Committee on the Future of Phoenix Transportation during a seven-month process. Drawing on feedback from public meetings, comments at presentations to community groups, and extensive online participation at a specially-created forum, talktransportation.org, the Committee crafted a recommendation that was referred to the ballot by the Phoenix City Council in April
To develop the elements of the plan, an extensive public outreach process was used which reached a wide array of users and residents. Starting with a media launch event on Aug. 12, 2014 led by Phoenix’s mayor and city council, staff from the city’s Public Transit and Street Transportation Department worked to connect with numerous stakeholder groups and provide a variety of engagement opportunities. At its conclusion, staff participated in over 100 events, reaching more than 3,700 residents and generating hundreds of comments in-person, via talktransportation.org and in an online survey on proposed plan elements that received more than 1,000 responses.
These ideas guided the Citizens Committee on the Future of Phoenix Transportation in its final recommendation, and shaped what voters will see on the ballot in August. Elements of the citywide transportation plan include improvements to service and infrastructure that touch virtually every neighborhood in Phoenix, and were based both on needs expressed by the public, and projections for Phoenix’s growth over the next 35 years.
These improvements cover a wide array of concerns expressed by residents who drive, bike, walk and ride transit service. Street improvements range from repaving on all the city’s major roadways and the build out of over 1,000 miles of bike lane infrastructure to installation of over 135 miles of sidewalk and 2,000 streetlights. Transit improvements run the gamut, from construction of an additional 42 miles of light rail, and the addition of longer operating hours on bus routes citywide to new bus routes and commuter services along heavily used routes on Thomas and Bell roads, and on 24th Street. Another key aspect of the plan is funding for infrastructure that improves the passenger experience, whether related to better technology such as reloadable fare cards, wi-fi wireless technology on vehicles, and real-time trip planning to shade structures at all bus stops citywide.
Funding for the plan, if approved by Phoenix voters, will come from a change in the city’s sales tax. The current transit tax, which funds almost all of the city’s bus and light rail operations, as well as operation of the city’s Dial-a-Ride services for people with disabilities, is currently 4/10ths of a cent. If the plan is approved, the transit tax would become a transportation tax and be increased to 7/10ths of a cent, or 70 cents on a $100 purchase.
Altogether the funds generated from the tax of 16.7 billion leverage almost half of the plan’s cost, or 14.8 billion in federal and county funds, passenger fares and other elements. Based on action by the city council, the plan also includes a large purchase exemption for single purchases over $10,000. Purchases over $10,000 will not be taxed for the additional 0.3 percent of the plan.
To ensure accountability to and public input from the residents of Phoenix as part of the planning process for the 35 years of the plan, Transportation 2050 requires the appointment of a citizens oversight committee. This group would be appointed by the Mayor and City Council to address street and transit needs, provide oversight on the expenditure of funds, and make recommendations on plan elements and other means of generating revenue for the plan going forward. This could include public-private partnerships and recommendations on innovative financing and funding. If approved by voters, the plan would take effect January 1, 2016.
This information is provided by the Phoenix Public Transportation Department for educational purposes only.
The Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association, in keeping with its objectives, will award one or more $1,500 scholarships for 2015. Scholarships are presented to deserving students striving to complete educational requirements for a career path in public works. Degrees or Majors in Public Administration, Civil or Environmental Engineering, Public Works and Water Resources Technology Programs are examples of related fields of study. Career objectives may be in the public or private sector, but in either case must be associated directly or indirectly with public works matters or agencies. The deadline for the application is June 30, 2015.
Describe your job responsibilities: As Flood Control District Engineer I am responsible for management of the Flood Control District. This involves the development and implementation the Capital Improvement Plan, oversight of the ALERT Flood Warning System, floodplain management, permitting, drainage review, storm water quality, infrastructure construction, inspection and maintenance. The Mohave County Flood Control District maintains a FEMA Community Rating System (CRS) rating of 6 and is an APWA accredited agency.
What was your favorite project to work on in the last 10 years? My favorite recent project was the Horizon Six – Mockingbird Wash Drainage Improvement Project. The project included a series of five detention basins with a combined storage of approximately 75 acre-feet and a half mile of soil cement channel along with several drop structures and box culverts. I was fortunate to be involved in the project from the conceptualization phase, through design, ROW acquisition, and construction.
Where have your travels taken you?: I have worked in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming.
Name one thing not many people know about you: I recently took and passed the APWA Certified Stormwater Manager exam.