APWA AZ Newsletter 2015 December
In this issue
2015 Newsletter Sponsors
UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR
December 10, 2015
December 14, 2015
Here it is the holiday season and the year is drawing to a close. There are quite a few changes occurring in the APWA organization. As you might remember, the Congress has been renamed and re-branded the PWX Expo. This change was initiated right here in Arizona at this year’s Congress. Hopefully, you all attended the Congress as it will be quite some years before it occurs here again. The feedback from attendees has been very good and everyone enjoyed the event.
In addition, there have been many other changes that have already happened and many to come this next year. There is only the December holiday party and swearing in of officers left for this year. I hope you will register and attend. It is at Aunt Chilada’s on the 14th at 3 PM. We scheduled it early, so that you can attend, and still make it home for family time in the evening.
Some additional changes that are ongoing are: the election of officers, reorganization of the fiscal year (that will occur gradually over the next calendar year), changes in the strategic plan that will result in some differences in the Chapter’s committees (to focus the chapter and create more feedback from the committees), and of course, the Statewide Annual Conference in August in Tucson.
All of this promises to be very interesting and will reflect the wishes of the new Board. I will be turning the gavel over to the new President, Loretta Flick on December 14th. That will end my Presidency and I must say, it has been quite an adventure. I did not foresee the amount of effort and time that it takes to be the President. My efforts, next year, will be on some projects that are getting underway. I will spend most of my time travelling and working on these efforts.
As for APWA, I have enjoyed getting to know all of you. Thanks for the opportunity to be your President. Thanks to all of you!
This article was written for Governing and is being reprinted with permission by Alex Marshall.
I teach a course on infrastructure at the New Jersey School of Architecture in Newark, which offers a master’s degree in infrastructure planning. Harvard’s Graduate School of Design has the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure. Meanwhile, planners and architects talk about “green infrastructure,” and presidential candidates debate the merits of an “infrastructure bank.”
But this word “infrastructure,” which I just managed to use five times in one paragraph without explanation, was not in common discourse 35 years ago in the U.S. and was just about unknown 50 years ago. Where did it come from, and what does its rise mean?
First of all, let’s put some evidence behind my claim. Using Google’s Ngram Viewer, one can search millions of books published over the last two centuries for the prevalence of words or terms. This miraculous tool shows that, in English at least, “infrastructure” was hardly used until about 1960, after which it climbed steadily, taking off after 1980.
Another Google search, this time of books published in French, shows the word beginning to be used in that language in the 1880s, and thereafter being employed at a steady rate before exploding in usage in the 1940s after World War II. This data appears to confirm what I have read elsewhere, which is that “infrastructure” was originally a French word, one that first made its appearance in railroad planning in France in the late 19th century. Military planners with NATO began using it in Europe, and it then gradually migrated over to civilian usage. But it was still several decades before even professionals outside of Europe began using the term.
A search of Google Books shows that references to "infrastructure" have increased dramatically over the past 50 years, while published uses of "public works" have declined.
Why, you may be asking at this point, should we care? After all, it’s just a word. But words, of course, are powerful things, and as they change so do our perceptions of what they represent. For me, the way this new word rose up and replaced older terms like “public works” is interesting and significant. Building roads and bridges where none existed before -- “public works” -- is one thing. Viewing such projects as interconnected, mutually dependent systems that move us from place to place and serve as a primary engine of commerce -- “infrastructure” -- is quite another. “The emergence of ‘infrastructure’ as a generic concept and prominent item on the public agenda is a phenomenon of the eighties,” wrote Alan Altshuler, former secretary of transportation for Massachusetts, in a 1989 book review for The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.
You can see that emergence onto the public agenda pretty clearly with another dive into the archives. In searching The New York Times’ past articles, I found that the word “infrastructure” appeared just one time in 1950, then 19 times in 1960 and 27 times in 1970. Most of these occurrences were for specialized purposes that did not really conform to modern usage.
In 1980, the term was used in the Times 134 times, and that was the first year I found it being used in the way we do today. For example, Clyde Haberman reported on a proposal for the New York City Economic Development Corp., writing that one official had said “he had no objection to an agency to deal only with rebuilding the city’s infrastructure.” Haberman then felt the need to define the word as “a bureaucratic term for such projects as bridges, sewers and roads.” Time marched on. The term occurred 335 times in the Times in 1990, 727 times in 2000 and a whopping 5,357 times in 2014. Clearly, “infrastructure” had come into its own.
By comparison, “public works” was gradually declining in popularity. It was used 754 times in the Times in 1940, 554 times in 1980, 246 times in 1981 and just 184 times in 2000. “Infrastructure” had shoved “public works” almost out of the arena of public discourse. Robert Moses, New York’s master builder, titled his 1970 autobiography Public Works: A Dangerous Trade. Today Moses would be talking about “infrastructure.” Personally I prefer “public works” because it has both “public” and “work” in it, a combination that economically describes both what we build and who it benefits. But while I dislike the bureaucratic sound of “infrastructure,” it really is a useful term for a broader view of these systems. In my last book, The Surprising Design of Market Economies, I use it to describe not only roads, power lines and water pipes, but also systems of law, policing and education that societies and business operate within.
Whatever you call these systems, building, nurturing and managing them has always been inherently political and controversial because they represent the public coming together to do something collectively. Some of the largest debates in our country’s history have turned on them, and still do.
In the early 19th century, the drive to build canals, ports, dams and roads, spearheaded by the brilliant Albert Gallatin under President Thomas Jefferson, was known as “internal improvements.” Debates over internal improvements were one of the causes of the Civil War: Southern planters opposed them because they feared that public investments in systems like railroads, particularly when accompanied by giving away Western land to settlers, would build a “free labor” system that would make slave labor less viable. Congress passed the national railroad and homestead acts in 1862 only after the South had left the Union and so could not block their passage.
Putting aside civil wars, infrastructure projects require, in a democracy at least, some measure of consensus to move forward. Generating that consensus is difficult, particularly in our system of government where localities, states and the feds operate almost independently of one another. But it’s a good fight to have, choosing what projects we put our collective will into -- whatever one calls them.
Alex Marshall is the transportation columnist for GOVERNING and a Senior Fellow at The Regional Plan Association in New York City. His most recent book is The Surprising Design of Market Economies.
US 89 Bitter Springs Landslide Repair
Submitted by Kleinfelder, Tempe AZ
Renewed movement of the active landslide in the slopes of Echo Cliffs on February 20, 2013, resulted in large cracks and the collapse of US 89 highway that required immediate closure of the road between the Bitter Springs community and Page in Northern Arizona. The highway was closed to all travel except emergency vehicles for two years which had a major impact to the social and economic conditions and quality of life in Northern Arizona.
Uniqueness & Use of Multiple Exploration Techniques
In addition to the above field methods, a unique application included development of a geologic model to unfold an understanding of the development of the historic landslide mass on the slopes of the Echo Cliff and the geologic process driving the active failure, which represents a small portion of the larger historic slide in order to design a remedial repair that addressed and resisted the driving forces. In this case understanding the landslide mass geometry and driving forces was crucial for a long term repair solution.
Kleinfelder, ADOT, AECOM and the FNF construction team worked together to construct a repair to the slide and reopen the roadway to the traveling public in as expedited manner as possible. The roadway re-opened on March 27, 2015.
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INDUSTRY NEWSWilson & Company’s Phoenix Office Expands Capabilities
Phoenix, Arizona – November 30, 2015 –Patricia Brown, PE, and Vanessa Spartan, AICP, recently joined Wilson & Company, Inc., Engineers & Architect’s Phoenix office.
“We are excited about the opportunities both Patricia and Vanessa bring to our company, as well as the leadership of our engineering and planning group in Phoenix. Wilson & Company has been a leader in traffic studies and transportation planning in Arizona, and now we have the ability to better serve our clients’ needs and a changing outlook on the future of transportation,” said Dan Marum, Associate Vice President.
In her role as Senior Project Manager, Patricia Brown will apply in-depth knowledge of Arizona’s transportation network to lead and expand the traffic and transportation engineering practices throughout Arizona. Most recently, Patricia served as the Maricopa Branch Manager for the Project Management Branch of Maricopa County Department of Transportation . She also was a project engineer with Arizona Department of Transportation and was responsible for management of both urban freeways as well as district-wide, local government projects, and providing oversight of the activities of design consultants.
Vanessa Spartan recently relocated from Wilson & Company’s Kansas City, Missouri office to Phoenix. With a background in community planning and urban design, Vanessa applies sound placemaking principles to transportation planning projects. Frequently serving as the project manager or task leader for multimodal transportation planning projects, she has worked across 24 states and at all levels of government including federal, state, regional, tribal, and local government agencies.
Wilson & Company’s Arizona services include transportation planning, traffic studies, civil engineering, and survey and mapping.
The cornerstone of success is Higher Relationships, excellence in Discipline, Intensity, Collaboration, Shared Ownership, and Solutions. To learn more about Wilson & Company visit www.wilsonco.com.
APWA Arizona is pleased to announce the 2016 Board of Directors.
President: Loretta Flick, Business Development Manager, Cardno Inc.
SAVE THE DATE !
APWA Arizona 2016 Statewide Annual Conference, August 10-12, 2016
Mark your calendars for the 2016 APWA Statewide Annual Conference to be held Wednesday, August 10 through Friday, August 12, 2016, again at the beautiful Hilton El Conquistador in Oro Valley. Call for Abstracts will follow shortly.
The $89 room rates remain the same as in 2015! The room block at this rate is available Tuesday, August 9 through Sunday August 14, 2016. The room block is open! Book your stay today at https://secure.hilton.com/en/hi/res/choose_dates.jhtml?hotel=TUSHTHH&spec_plan=APWA.
Exhibitor check-in and set-up will start Wednesday morning August 10th. Reserve your booth today. Contact Al Field at Al.Field@AlField-Assoc.com. First come, first served for exhibit booth location selection!
Your Conference Committee Chairs, Robin Bain and Arno Leskinen, are already working with the dedicated Planning Committee members to organize an exceptional Conference. See you ALL there!
Our Chapter by the Numbers.
New Member Spotlight
Name and Title: Keith Scoular, R.G., Chief Operating Officer/Senior Environmental Consultant at Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd. (ACS), which does much more than archaeology. Please check out our website at www.acstempe.com to learn more about what we do.
With APWA Since: October 2015 although ACS has been an exhibitor at the annual Arizona APWA meetings several times in the past.
Describe your job responsibilities: Overseeing daily operations and the company’s business development efforts, and contributing to environmental and multidiscipline projects.
What was your favorite project to work on in the last 10 years? As long as I’m still learning things and working with great people, then I’m still having fun. If I had to choose one, it would be an assessment and closure project for an agricultural chemical facility south of Chandler which just ended earlier this year. We got to do drilling, soil sampling, and building demolition. How much more fun can you have on one project!
Where have your travels taken you?: All 50 states, much of Europe, Mexico, Central America, and the incredible Galapagos Islands. As much as I’ve enjoyed all of my trips, as a geologist I still think the overall diversity of Arizona and the Colorado Plateau can’t be beat.
Name one thing not many people know about you: Every year since 2011, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with the Water Education Foundation out of Sacramento as one of the guides for a three-day water resources bus tour of the Lower Colorado River region. We start in Las Vegas, head down the river to Yuma, and end up in the Coachella Valley. The participants are mostly water managers from California who are trying to learn more about this amazing resource. I learn something new every year and every year my appreciation for the Colorado River and the associated challenges continues to grow.
APWA NEW MEMBERS