President's Message Feature Article Project Spotlight 2016 Sponsorships Industry News Member News APWA New Members
2016 Newsletter Sponsors
UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR
February 17, 2016 February Luncheon PSHIA - Future Improvements Phoenix Country Club More Info >
February 17, 2016 APWA BOD Meeting Phoenix Country Club More Info >
As President and Board Member I find I am receiving more APWA National messages in my mailbox than I usually receive. And as I read through all the information from our national leaders there are a few thoughts I think are important to share. Brian Usher our APWA National President has challenged us as an organization “to look at our new members, take time to mentor them. Also to reach out this year to someone in our business and listen to them, learn from them regardless of their age. We can all learn no matter how experienced we are”. We see many young talented professionals joining our industry and our association. In order to build a stronger, more successful APWA we need to meet the challenge to mentor and learn from the next generation.
For those who are involved in a mentorship program or who are thinking of mentoring, I would like to offer a few tips that might help with Managing the Millennium Generation. The millennials joining your workforce now are employees born between 1980 and 2000, or 1981 and 1999, depending on the author. Unlike the Gen-Xers and the Baby Boomers, the Millennials have developed work characteristics and tendencies from doting parents, structured lives, and contact with diverse people. Here are some insightful tips:
1.Provide structure. 2.Provide leadership and guidance. Millennials want to look up to you, learn from you, and receive daily feedback from you. 3.Encourage the millennial's self-assuredness, "can-do" attitude, and positive personal self-image. Millennials are ready to take on the world. 4.Take advantage of the millennial's comfort level with teams. 5.Listen to the millennial employee. These young adults have ideas and opinions. 6.Millennial employees are up for a challenge and change. Boring is bad. 7.Millennial employees are multi-taskers on a scale you’ve never seen before. 8.Take advantage of your millennial employee’s computer, cell phone, and electronic literacy. 9.Capitalize on the millennial’s affinity for networking. Your millennial employee network around the world. 10.Provide a life-work balanced workplace. 11.Provide a fun, employee-centered workplace. They want to make friends in their workplace.
Sincerely, Loretta Flick ARIZONA CHAPTER PRESIDENT
The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act or "FAST Act"
On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or “FAST Act.” It is the first law enacted in over ten years that provides long-term funding certainty for surface transportation, meaning States and local governments can move forward with critical transportation projects, like new highways and transit lines, with the confidence that they will have a Federal partner over the long term. Secretary Foxx and his team at U.S. DOT have worked tirelessly to advocate for a long term bill, underscoring the needed sense of urgency to the American people.
As Secretary Foxx said, “After hundreds of Congressional meetings, two bus tours, visits to 43 states, and so much uncertainty – and 36 short term extensions – it has been a long and bumpy ride to a long-term transportation bill. It’s not perfect, and there is still more left to do, but it reflects a bipartisan compromise I always knew was possible.” Overall, the FAST Act largely maintains current program structures and funding shares between highways and transit. It is a down-payment for building a 21st century transportation system, increasing funding by 11 percent over five years. This is far short of the amount needed to reduce congestion on our roads and meet the increasing demands on our transportation systems. In comparison, the Administration’s proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act, increases funding by 45 percent.
The law also makes changes and reforms to many Federal transportation programs, including streamlining the approval processes for new transportation projects, providing new safety tools, and establishing new programs to advance critical freight projects.
Below is a more detailed summary of some FAST Act provisions. More detailed descriptions of how the FAST Act will affect each mode of transportation will be released in the coming weeks.
PROJECT DELIVERY: DOT has been a leader in reducing the bureaucratic red tape that can stall and delay critical transportation projects from moving forward. The FAST Act adopted a number of Administration proposals to further speed the permitting processes while still protecting environmental and historic treasures and also codifying the online system to track projects and interagency coordination processes.
FREIGHT: The FAST Act would establish both formula and discretionary grant programs to fund critical transportation projects that would benefit freight movements. These programs are similar to what the Administration proposed and will for the first time provide a dedicated source of Federal funding for freight projects, including multimodal projects. The Act emphasizes the importance of Federal coordination to focus local governments on the needs of freight transportation providers.
INNOVATIVE FINANCE BUREAU: The FAST Act establishes a new National Surface Transportation and Innovative Finance Bureau within the Department to serve as a one-stop shop for state and local governments to receive federal funding, financing or technical assistance. This builds on the work of the Department’s Build America Transportation Investment Center and provides additional tools to improve coordination across the Department to promote innovative finance mechanisms. The Bureau is also tasked with responsibility to drive efficiency in the permitting process, consistent with our request to establish a dedicated permitting office.
TIFIA: The TIFIA Loan program provides important financing options for large projects and public-private partnerships. The FAST Act includes organizational changes that will provide an opportunity for important structural improvements with the potential to accelerate the delivery of innovative finance projects. However, FAST’s cut to the TIFIA program could constrain growth in this area over the course of the bill.
SAFETY: The FAST Act includes authority sought by the Administration to prohibit rental car companies from knowingly renting vehicles that are subject to safety recalls. It also increased maximum fines against non-compliant auto manufactures from $35 million to $105 million. The law also will help bolster the Department’s safety oversight of transit agencies and also streamlines the Federal truck and bus safety grant programs, giving more flexibility to States to improve safety in these areas. However, we know the bill also took a number of steps backwards in terms of the Department’s ability to share data with the public and on the Department’s ability to exercise aggressive oversight over our regulated industries.
TRANSIT: The FAST Act includes a number of positive provisions, including reinstating the popular bus discretionary grant program and strengthening the Buy America requirements that promote domestic manufacturing through vehicle and track purchases.
LADDERS OF OPPORTUNITY: The Act includes a number of items that strengthen workforce training and improve regional planning. These include allocating slightly more formula funds to local decision makers and providing planners with additional design flexibilities. Notably, FAST makes Transit Oriented Development (TOD) expenses eligible for funding under highway and rail credit programs. TOD promotes dense commercial and residential development near transit hubs in an effort to shore up transit ridership and promote walkable, sustainable land use.
PROJECT SPOTLIGHT Pima County’s new Aerospace Parkway: Paving the way to the new Sonoran Corridor
Submitted by Nancy Cole, Director, Pima County
The Aerospace Parkway project (4 miles) consists of a new 2.5 mile long roadway realignment of the existing East Hughes Access Road approximately 2,500 feet south of its current alignment, with an additional 1.5 miles of connections to the existing access points. The purpose of this relocation is to provide adequate room to buffer the existing and future operations at the Raytheon site located just north of the original alignment. The Raytheon site has been restricted from future growth, and has been operating under a temporary waiver until this project was completed. This Aerospace Parkway is a critical part of Pima County’s Economic Development Plan as a key connector to the future Sonoran Corridor, newly added to the Federal Highway System as a Highway Priority Corridor with the potential to serve as a gateway to more aerospace, defense, and high tech companies relocating to Tucson.
Once the project was conceived, it was tasked with an extremely tight budget and schedule, as is typical of most public works projects in these current times. The original plan was to complete the project in just two years, at a cost of $9.7M. Immediately upon starting the planning process, however, it was determined that the land for the new road, which had been owned by the Tucson International Airport (TIA), was originally purchased with federal dollars. This previous purchase caused the project to have a federal nexus with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (the original grantor of the federal funds). In order to construct the road, an environmental assessment (EA) process via the FAA was required, extending the aggressive schedule by another year. This is a very unusual situation, since most transportation projects work with either FHWA or the USACE as the federal lead, instead the FAA took the lead. A phenomenal environmental team including County staff with SWCA and URS/AECOM consultants were able to work with the FAA to complete the full EA within the two year adjusted timeline.
The design and construction of the parkway were intended as an economic development project. To ensure these goals were met, the County worked with the URS/AECOM design team to deliver a non-traditional fast-track design within the EA timeline. The project followed a traditional design bid build contract for $6.6M by the Ashton Company, awarded March of 2015, just two months after the final EA was approved. Partnering sessions were held and construction started immediately. The construction was substantially completed just eight months later in October 2015 with a true ribbon cutting event in December of 2015. This kept the project right on budget, and a few months ahead of the original planned completion date as programmed originally in November of 2013.
The new alignment was constructed through undisturbed desert land, which avoided the need for traffic control during the project, but increased the disturbance to the natural environment. The project team worked with the Pima County Native Plant Nursery and the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society to salvage 411 plants, including the protected Pima Pineapple Cactus known to be located in this area. This resulted in a pilot program with the Fish and Wildlife Service to relocate the species and monitor and evaluate how well they respond to relocation. There were minimal conflicts with utilities, and traffic control was limited to the connection points at either end, resulting in a expedited construction term.
The project has been considered very successful, and next steps have been taken to secure the needed buffer land opened up by this relocation. Next steps to extend utilities and start the first multimillion dollar development project in this aerospace corridor are also currently underway. It is very unusual to be part of a public works project that not only meets safety and transportation requirements, but also has an immediate and direct impact to the overall goals of the community for increasing economic opportunities.
U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, Arizona Speaker of the House David Gowan, Tucson Councilwoman Shirley Scott, Pima County Supervisors Sharon Bronson, Ray Carroll and Ramón Valadez, Raytheon Missile Systems President Dr. Taylor Lawrence and more than four dozen other government and private sector officials attended the ribbon cutting ceremony today celebrating the completion of the construction of the Aerospace Parkway.
2016 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association, in keeping with its objectives, will award one or more $1,500 scholarships for 2016. 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, Construction Management, Water Resources, Public Works Administration, and 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 related to public works matters or agencies. The deadline for the application is Friday, April 1, 2016.
Ray Dovalina, Jr, PE President-Elect Arizona Chapter APWA Scholarship Committee
Ace Asphalt acquires Brown Brothers Asphalt & Concrete of Denver Now serving Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.
Ace Asphalt’s parent company, Prophet Equity, has acquired Brown Brothers Asphalt & Concrete of Denver, Colorado, a family owned business that has grown into one of the largest asphalt and concrete contractors in the state.
As a result of the acquisition, commercial property owners and managers can now obtain reliable, long lasting asphalt and concrete surfaces at a fair price in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.
“We have always tried to grow where our customers need an asphalt and concrete company they can trust. We are delighted to announce our latest step in this direction,” says Wayne Bell, President of Ace Asphalt.
“We are proud to join the Prophet Equity family, and our ‘brother’ company, Ace Asphalt. Our customers can rest assured they will receive the same outstanding results and reliable, responsive service they have come to expect.” Say Dennis and Paul Brown, owners of Brown Brothers.
The company will continue to operate as Brown Brothers Asphalt & Concrete in Colorado and Ace Asphalt in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.
About Ace Asphalt Ace Asphalt is a full service asphalt paving company with offices across the Southwestern United States serving Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dallas, Texas.
About Brown Brothers Asphalt & Concrete Brown Brothers Asphalt & Concrete is Colorado’s most trusted asphalt and concrete construction, maintenance, and repair company serving Denver and the rest of the Front Range.
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.email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org
A variety of Sponsor packages for any budget are also available now. Please consider a sponsorship this year.
New Member Spotlight
Name and Title: Austin Cummings, Account Manager, American Direct
With APWA Since: Fall 2015
Describe your job responsibilities: I operate as the lead point of contact for any and all matters specific to end user accounts. I build and maintain strong, long-lasting customer relationships and develop a trusted advisor relationship with key customer stakeholders and executive sponsors. I assist with design, install, and service of customer security systems and I develop new electronic security and service business.
What was your favorite project to work on in the last 10 years? Over the summer we upgraded a county administration building to comply with county standards. This project included 70 existing card readers, upgrades to software, and data migration. It was a complex project with multiple moving parts, and we were able to successfully move them over with minimal down time.
Where have your travels taken you?: I cover the entire state of Arizona so I have been all over the state, as well I have traveled across country to attend national trade shows and assist with national sales opportunities. I always enjoy visiting manufacturing facilities and seeing how things are made.
Name one thing not many people know about you: I enjoy getting out and mountain biking. It’s a thrilling activity that allows you to experience nature at the same time.