APWA AZ Newsletter 2016 January

APWA AZ Newsletter 2016 January



In this issue

President's Message
Feature Article
Project Spotlight
2016 Sponsorships
Industry News
Member News
APWA New Members

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January 20, 2016
January Luncheon with City Engineers from Avondale, Glendale, and Peoria
Phoenix Country Club
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January 20, 2016
Northern Branch Mixer
Brick & Bones
Moonshine Bar and Bistro

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Greetings and Happy New Year.  As President of APWA, I look forward to a year of great things for our State Chapter with a focus on Optimism. It has been 6 months since our National Congress was here in Arizona. It was amazing to see all of our membership rally to the call for volunteers.  Let’s not lose that momentum.  I am encouraging anyone who wants to get involved to contact me directly and let me know what you are interested in. All of our committees benefit greatly from membership input and diversity of ideas.  Our chapter was recognized last year with a National Award because of our membership growth and we want to see that growth continue.  Our goal is to provide the programs, networking, and education that you want and have asked for. As a board, we understand you have many choices when it comes to joining an association or where to spend your networking time. We are optimistic that we can deliver what our membership is looking for.  

Here are a few highlights for the coming months.  

  • Our Program Committee has been busy planning exceptional speakers and topics for the next year’s monthly meetings. For January we bring 3 West Valley municipal engineers in to share their Vision on growth for their communities. Future Programs include the Sky Train, South Mountain Freeway, Proposal Development and more.   Be sure to register for the monthly luncheons.
  • Our Conference Committee is in full swing planning the 2016 Statewide Conference at the Hilton El Conquistador. Save the date: August 10-12. All of the information will be posted on the Conference Website www.azapwa2016conference.com    See more conference details included in this newsletter.  
  • Our Strategic Plan for 2016 includes an emphasis on Communication. As a Board we are dedicated to opening communication with our membership and will continue to look for opportunities to hear from members so we can better meet your expectations.

As we begin this New Year, there is also much to be optimistic about in 2016 for Public Works and for all of us who work in the industry. It has been a long 8 years since the recession hit here in Arizona, along with our neighboring southwestern states.  We can now see the beginnings of growth in the local economies as we see municipal budgets looking healthier. We finally have a 5- Year National Transportation Program, “FAST” (Fixing Americas Surface Transportation) Act. Engineering and Construction firms are once again hiring staff.  Our Feature Article in this month’s newsletter from Elliott Pollack & Company states we can expect continued gradual improvement in 2016.  As with any industry on the rebound, we have the opportunity to make choices with these growth strategies that can impact our communities in many positive ways, such as making sustainability part of the plan for our environment.   For those who want to join the APWA Sustainability Committee, please contact mara.defilippis@asu.edu.

I look forward to working with the 2016 APWA Arizona Board Members this year.  I am truly optimistic that we can accomplish much in advancing advocacy for the Public Works Industry in Arizona. 


Loretta Flick


Greater Phoenix Economic Outlook 2016
Elliott D. Pollack & Co.

The Greater Phoenix economy continues to grow, but at a slower pace than in past recoveries.  In fact, this recovery is the weakest by historic standards. Yet, growth has occurred and is expected to continue. The key is to not compare the current economic recovery to previous expansion periods, but to compare the trends to current expectations given the issues we have faced in this recovery.  

As of October 2015, Greater Phoenix was just out of the top one-third of major employment markets in terms of percentage employment growth this year. That really isn’t a bad showing relative to what has occurred since 2006, although it is weak compared to our history.  And the employment statistics are improving year after year.  The “lost jobs” from the last economic downturn were finally fully recovered in November 2015.  The unemployment rate for Greater Phoenix now stands at 5.0%.  

Annual employment growth for 2015 should reach 3.0% and is expected to continue to grow in 2016 by 3.2%.  While this isn’t the 5.0% rate of job growth that we might normally enjoy at this point in an expansion, it certainly is an improvement over where we stood just a couple years ago.

Population growth is also starting to improve.  In terms of domestic migration, Arizona is third out of the 50 states.  For international migration, however, Arizona is down from 7th to 17th.  While current numbers are weak by historic standards, we expect that population flows will continue to accelerate over the next several years. Population growth in 2015 was 1.8%, and is expected to grow by another 1.8% in 2016.

What does this mean for the real estate market?  We are now experiencing a more significant recovery in new single-family housing.   We will not reach the 40,000 or 50,000 permits that we experienced in the last cycle (nor we really don’t want to). But, given the relatively moderate growth we have had, the increase in housing permits is encouraging. Single-family permit will increase by about 50% this year to between 15,000 and 16,000 permits compared to 10,800 last year. This will be the best year for single-family housing since 2007.  And the outlook for 2016 is also positive.

The multi-family housing market outlook is better than any time in the past including the 1980’s.  This is a result of the number of millennials reaching their peak rental years.  In addition, because they are delaying marriage, millennials will live in apartments longer.  Office, industrial and retail commercial markets are all experiencing decreasing vacancy rates, which continues to encourage new construction. 

Overall, the issues that Greater Phoenix has experienced in this recovery are starting to unwind.  Expect continued, gradual improvement in 2016.  More movement of people and money across the country will also translate into more people moving to the state and needing a place to live, which will create a new level of demand for goods and services.  This will generate more jobs.  It is ok to be optimistic about the state of the economy, as long as those expectations are based on the economic reality that we currently face.        


Third Street and Van Buren Street Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements

Submitted by Michael Baker International, Inc.

Contracted by the City of Phoenix (City), Michael Baker International, Inc. (Michael Baker) performed a pre-design study and developed a preferred alternative for the implementation of bicycle and pedestrian improvements within the Third Street and Van Buren Street corridors in Phoenix, Arizona to add alternate transportation modes, increase connectivity, and preserve vehicle access.  The corridors along Third Street are between Indian School Road and Garfield Street and along Van Buren Street between 7th Street and 24th Street.

No bike lanes were present along these corridors, which also lacked many pedestrian facilities, such as continuous sidewalks, consistent shade, site furnishings, pedestrian lighting, sidewalk ramps in some locations, and consistent crossing facilities. The City postulated that the addition of bicycle lanes, narrowed street configuration, slower traffic speeds, and an improved pedestrian environment would improve safety and facilitate movement of traffic to and from downtown.

The project began with data collection and review from the City and other sources, including prior planning studies, transportation plans, development project lists, as-built drawings, traffic and crash analyses, and utility data. Michael Baker then performed a field review to inventory and assess existing conditions, including bike lanes, sidewalks, street lighting, signage, speed limits, bus stops, driveways, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) features. Traffic operations of the corridors were then analyzed under existing and projected volumes and lane configurations for street and intersection levels of service (LOS) and average daily volumes. Michael Baker developed an existing conditions Synchro model, include micro-simulation and animation of traffic flow, and developed a "no build" Synchro model of the corridors to analyze operations under future 2035 volumes and existing lane configurations. The 2015 and 2035 traffic volumes obtained from Maricopa County were used to calculate the growth rate on Third Street and Van Buren Street.

Michael Baker used the collected data and analyses to identify opportunities for retrofitting or enhancing bicycle and pedestrian accommodations throughout the project area. Roads and intersections within the study network were assessed identifying specific recommendations and actions necessary to implement each improvement. Alternatives were developed collaboratively by involving project team members with the goal to include bike lanes through the Third Street and Van Buren Street corridors while maintaining acceptable level-of-service for vehicular traffic. Conceptual design alternatives included combinations of bike lanes, narrow lanes, reduced or eliminated vehicle travel lanes, sidewalks, etc. To further analyze the conceptual alternatives, Michael Baker developed performance characteristics related to user costs, livability, safety, sustainability, aesthetics, health, fuel savings, mobility, and multi-modal levels of service.

Because the City received Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) funding, the project needed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental authorities, including statutes, regulations, and executive orders. Thus, studies were performed to identify any environmental impacts from or to the project corridor. Cursory studies were performed for historic sites, Sections 4(f) and 6(f) properties, endangered species, air, noise, and hazardous materials.

In addition to traffic LOS, alternatives were evaluated using a variety of criteria, including aesthetics, pedestrian and bicycle buffers and amenities, roadway crossing ease, maintenance needs, drainage, utility impacts, driveway conflicts, and costs. 

Three alternatives were developed and evaluated for the Third Street Corridor. The selected (preferred) alternative adds buffered bike lanes by eliminating one existing traffic lane in each direction (See Figure 3). The new lane configuration would include one 11-foot travel lane in each direction with an 11-foot two-way left-turn lane. The remaining street width would be used for the 6-foot bike lane and a bike lane buffer.

Two alternatives were developed and evaluated for the Van Buren Street Corridor. The selected (preferred) alternative includes restriping Van Buren Street to include one travel lane in each direction, and adding one 11-foot travel lane in each direction with an 11-foot two-way left-turn lane (See Figure 4). This would allow for a 6-foot bike lane with 5-foot buffer separating the travel lane from the bike lane. The preferred alternative would also upgrade pedestrian amenities along the Van Buren Street Corridor by improving sidewalks, replacing existing pedestrian ramps, installing truncated domes at pedestrian ramps, upgrading existing street lighting with LED light fixtures, and installing street furnishings throughout the corridor.



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Newsletters are published monthly, posted on the Chapter website and sent electronically to over 1000 recipients in the Public Works field.

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Payment Deadline: January 31, 2016.

To pay by Credit Card:
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Mail completed Sponsorship Form and check made payable to:

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Entellus Celebrates 30 Years of Service
Press Release, Posted: December 7, 2015

Phoenix, Arizona – Entellus reaches a milestone this week, celebrating 30 years of serving Arizona since 1985 and building a reputation of providing intelligent engineering services, innovative solutions with a highly technical qualified staff who embrace the opportunity to make a difference in their communities and with their clients. "We thank our clients for the great 30 years, and we look forward to continuing to serve them." said Michael Bonar, Chief Executive Officer.

Entellus, originated with four employees as AGK Engineers, Inc. (AGK) founded by professional engineers, Ed Adair, PE, Gerald Green, PE, and Sam Kao, PhD, PE along with administrator Patrice Miller. Since the beginning, Entellus has been engaged in planning, analysis, and design of public infrastructure projects throughout Arizona. Technical expertise has been enhanced to offer transportation, water/wastewater, hydrology/surface water engineering, geographic information systems, site development, surveying, and construction administration services. In 1996, Entellus expanded its ownership to include key employees and correspondingly changed the name to Entellus, Inc.

With 60 employees, Entellus today is administered by CEO, Michael Bonar, PE, President Timothy Crall, PE and Senior Vice President, Bill Linck, PE specializing in Public Works and Private Development projects with an office in Bountiful, Utah and headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona.


2016 Arizona Statewide Conference
August 10-12, 2016
Hilton El Conquistador

Tucson, AZ

Each summer the Arizona Chapter holds its statewide annual conference where members and non-members can exchange information, socialize and learn from each other and technical experts.  Visit the Conference website for information and registration.   www.azapwa2016conference.com

Highlights include the following: 

  • The conference will be held at the beautiful Hilton El Conquistador in Oro Valley, Aug 10-12. Rooms are $89 and are available from Tuesday Aug 9th thru Sunday Aug. 14th.  The room block is now open for reservations. See conference website Accommodations tab to book your room early.
  • Exhibitor Booths are available now.  Reserve the spot of your choice early, booth selection is on a first come basis.  Visit the conference website or contact Al Field at Al.field@alfield-assoc.com
  • Interested in participating on the program? The call for abstracts is open and are due February 19th. The Theme of the Conference is “The New Normal: Innovative Routes to Meet Public Expectations” Abstracts are limited to 300 words in length. Details are available on the conference website or contact chris.simko@stantec.com
  • Our Annual Awards Luncheon will be held on Tuesday at the Conference. Nominations for Projects or Outstanding Public Works Employees are also open. Hurry the due date for Awards Nominations is January 29th. Details for the Awards available on the website.
  • A variety of Sponsor packages for any budget are also available now. Please consider a sponsorship this year.  

New Member Spotlight

Name and Title: Diane Luber, Writer/Editor/Media Relations, Kaneen Advertising & Public Relations

With APWA Since: 2015

Describe your responsibilities: As a member of Kaneen’s public involvement and outreach team, my mission is to inform and educate the public – through direct print and electronic outreach and through the media – about the public works projects that provide rewarding jobs; improve our communities’ roads, buildings and infrastructure; and make our lives easier and better every day.

What was your favorite project to work on in the last 10 years? Hard to pick one. I learn so much assisting construction companies with contract proposals and with award entries that bring them and their projects much-deserved attention and accolades. Last year, I organized and edited a 32-page special section about the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar that ran in the local newspaper on the Sunday before the system launch. This year, I helped obtain local media coverage of “Southern Arizona Construction Career Days,” when local construction companies and educators teamed up to expose 1,000 high school students to hands-on construction experiences and great career opportunities. While working for Pima County (before Kaneen), I enjoyed promoting its construction of “The Loop,” 130+ miles of shared-use paths connecting parks and commercial and residential areas around Tucson.

Name one thing not many people know about you: I own – and enthusiastically share – a copy of the “Super Bridge” NOVA show (about the construction of the Clark Bridge across the Mississippi River in the early 1990s). I worked for newspapers for 25 years and I wish I had known then what I know now about the enormous contribution that public works projects make to our communities. They are generally ignored by the media, even though they usually involve local companies, employ hundreds of local residents, improve our communities’ livability and economies, and are full of great stories – as “Super Bridge” demonstrates. Educating the public about public works projects will give them the “pride of ownership” that brings communities together and makes them great. I’m grateful now for the opportunity to make up for lost time.


First NameLast NameTitleCompany
MichaelDukeFleet Maintenance MgmntTransDev
BillKohnFleet Business ManagerTown of Gilbert
JonathonKreibichSales ManagerPavement Restoration Inc
LeslieMillerEnvironmental & Public ProgramsCity of Avondale
JavierSetovichPublic Works DirectorCity of Goodyear
BrianDavisDepartment ManagerStanley Consultants
MichaelLopezAsst. Public Works DireTown of Chino Valley
FredEdgecombUtilities ManagerCity of Prescott
BrianScottStreet Maintenance SupervisoryCity of Prescott
DanSelbyPresidentAsphalt Busters
CharlesValentineAsphalt Busters
MarkEdwardsPrincipal Geologist/GeophysicistSouthwest Geophysics Inc
LaurenMaineStudies/Standards SupvPima County Transportation
RichardAustin, JrCapitol Improvement Project ManagerCity of Show Low
RobDolsonStreet Maintenance SupervisorCity of Maricopa
JedidiahYoungTransp Engrg SpecialistAZ Department of Transportation
CarlFullerMaint SuptCoconino County
EdwardVerdugoProject GeophysicistSouthwest Geophysics Inc
RandyDunseyTrans Proj MgmtMaricopa County
DeniseLaceyPlanning Branch MgrMaricopa County Transportation
CynthiaRobinsonAdmin Svcs Div MgrMaricopa County
JohnRodriguezImprovement District AnalystMaricopa County
FaisalSaleemITS Branch MgrMaricopa County Transportation
TedWolffRoad Maint SupvMaricopa County Transportation

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