APWA AZ Newsletter 2016 April

APWA AZ Newsletter 2016 April


 APRIL 2016

In this issue

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

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2016 Newsletter Sponsors


April 10, 2016
APWA Spring Family Potluck Picnic 
McCormick Stillman Train Park

More Info >

April 14, 2016
City Engineers Forum 
Maricopa Association of Governments
More Info >

April 15, 2016
Northern Branch Trap Tournament
Prescott Trap & Skeet Club
More Info >

April 20, 2016
BOD Meeting 
Phoenix Country Club
More Info >

April 20, 2016
April Luncheon
Phoenix Country Club
More Info >

May 4, 2016
Underground Workshop
Pima County WES Center
More Info >


Last week I had the opportunity to attend the annual Roads & Streets Conference. Being able to network with peers is one of the primary reasons people join associations like APWA and ACEC. For a while, I deliberately stood back as an observer and noted the following aspects of the networking that was happening all around.  What I observed included the following - vendors displayed the latest innovations in technology, firms were eager to introduce staff and capabilities, and clients seem to seek products and expertise to help with upcoming projects on their CIP calendar. Through a variety of methods attendees share job experiences, request information on public works issues and discuss local and national topics of concern by attending sessions. While networking with other practitioners, vendors and clients, we get support from peers and receive valuable and useful information including information on the latest technologies and management trends. From this observation deck it seems these conferences are orchestrated precisely to fit the needs of the industry.   

This, of course, is a reminder the Arizona APWA Statewide conference is coming soon, August 10-12 at the El Conquistador in Tucson. This year we include our Annual Awards Luncheon.  Be sure to sign up for a booth or register as an attendee and of course sponsor an event. This year we are continuing to offer scholarships for Public Works Employees to offset the cost of attending the conference. If you are interested in a Public Works Conference Scholarship, please see the attached registration form and apply early. 

Remember to RSVP for the luncheon by Friday prior to the meeting for the $25 member rate.  If you are not yet a member, we are offering a 6-month free half-year rate. See the online membership application or contact Kevin at Kmurphy@shg-inc.com.

April Events to register for

  • April 10 - Family Pot Luck Picnic at McCormick - Stillman Park, Scottsdale
  • April 15 - Northern AZ Branch Trap Tournament, Prescott Trap & Skeet Club, Dewey, AZ
  • April 20 – Chapter Membership Luncheon, Phoenix Country Club

Loretta Flick

Unmanned Aircraft Systems - Regulations for Commercial Operations 

Timothy Quillman, Michael Baker International

An unmanned aircraft system (UAS), also referred by several other names, is an aircraft without a need for a human pilot aboard. The flight of UAS is normally controlled by a given degree of remote control from an operator, located on the ground or in another vehicle, or fully autonomously, by onboard computers. The UAS can be a fixed-wing and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) systems to meet project-specific needs. Normally, the fixed wing UASs are capable of over 45 minutes of flight time, and have multiple payload configurations, while the VTOL is normally suited for inspection services and/or small footprint projects. The UAS provides a new alternative approach to traditional aerial acquisition of ground-based surveys, surveillance, photography and inspections. Picking up where traditional methods of acquisition are limited either in ability or expense, UAS promises to unlock new opportunities for users within the public works industry.  

However, rules and regulations for the commercial use (referred to as civil by the FAA) of UAS are still being reviewed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and are due to be released in June of 2016. Currently, in order to operate an unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes, one has to go through FAA and obtain a Section 333 Exemption and a Special Airworthiness Certificate. Once the Section 333 Exemption is granted, civil operators are automatically granted a blanket Certification of Waiver or Authority (COA). The blanket COA authorizes flights at or below 200 feet for aircraft that weigh less than 55 pounds, operated by a licensed pilot with visual observer, operate during the daytime within visual line of sight (VLOS) of the pilot and observer, and within the following, but not limited to, restrictions:

  • 5 miles from an airport having an operational control tower; or
  • 3 miles from an airport with a published instrument flight procedure, but not an operational tower; or
  • 2 miles from an airport without a published instrument flight procedure or an operational tower; or
  • 2 miles from a heliport with a published instrument flight procedure.
  • Populated area
  • Heavily trafficked area (vehicles)
  • No fly over the Military bases
  • No fly over National Parks

Once the required clearance are acquired, the UAS pilot is required to review the project site for COA compliance using GIS developed tools and other sources. The various GIS data available will help in making a preliminary determination on the issues that need to be addressed in UAV data collection. A GIS layer showing the project site along with the FAA restrictions is shown in Figure 1.  The pilot will make the final determination on the COA compliance of the site based on the FAA info and it is shown in Figure 2.   A pilot who wants to operate outside the parameters of the blanket COA needs to go through a separate process called “Site specific COA” specific to airspace required for their operation.

While UAS for commercial use is still in its infancy, much headway has already been made and requirements have been established by the FAA. This is evidenced by the over 4000 Section 333 exemptions that have been approved in just the last few years. Once new regulations are approved in June of 2016, companies seeking to utilize UAV technology should have a much clearer path entering that market.

A "Grand" connection between Grand Avenue and Bell Road

Sandy Niebel, Wood/Patel

The current ground-level intersection of US 60 (Grand Avenue) and Bell Road is a critical transportation corridor in the early stages of construction. The $66 million design-build project, which is located within the city of Surprise and funded by ADOT, began earlier this year and is expected to be complete in the spring of 2017. A new Bell Road bridge over Grand Avenue is being constructed by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) that will improve safety and traffic flow. 

As part of the construction, ADOT and the city of Surprise have scheduled a full closure of Bell Road between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway that begins April 1st. This 6 to 8 month closure ultimately reduces the project’s length to 14 months. North-south detour routes will be Dysart Road (east of Grand Avenue) and Litchfield Road (west of Grand Avenue), with Greenway Road serving as the primary east-west detour route.

This traffic interchange is both a grand corridor connection and collaboration among agencies. It is a part of the Maricopa Association of Government’s Regional Transportation Plan, led by ADOT in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration. Close coordination included the city of Surprise and local businesses.

Constant communication from the project team to the traveling public informs them of planned project restrictions. For more information about this project, go to: https://www.azdot.gov/projects/phoenix-metro-area/us-60-(grand-ave)-and-bell-road-interchange/project-overview.


May 2-6, 2016, Phoenix, AZ – 
Register Now for the SAVE International Module 1 Value Engineering Certification Course

WHO SHOULD ATTEND AND WHY? This course is designed for individuals involved in planning, design and construction projects, including planners, architects, engineers, construction managers, contractors, cost estimators and owners. Additionally, individuals in manufacturing and industrial including program managers, product managers, engineers, designers, etc. Learn an extremely valuable process to help you make improvements, seek out innovation and opportunities to projects, products and even the way you and your company does business. This course is also the first step in the certification process. Once you take the course and pass the AVS exam, you will obtain your first level of certification.

Email your questions or registration requests to Patrice@TeamRHA.com or visit http://projectteamintegration.com/news-awards/ for additional course details and registration form.  

Flyer  Registration Form


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
  • A variety of Sponsor packages for any budget are also available now. Please consider a sponsorship this year.







Message From the Membership Committee 

Half Price Membership Applications are available online. If you are not yet a member, take advantage of this special half price rate.   (https://www2.apwa.net/Membership/memberapp.asp

Reminder: APWA offers any member the option to bring a guest to the luncheon on us. If you know someone interested in APWA, please invite them as a guest. Please email Sheila and let her know ahead of time. sheila@gettingitdone.org

New Member Spotlight

Name and Title: Doug Kobrick, PE, BCEE  -- Senior Associate, Hazen and Sawyer – Tempe, AZ

With APWA Since: Returned as a member February 2016.  I was a member for several years in the past, decided to get re-involved, make a contribution, and gain the benefits of APWA membership.

Describe your job responsibilities: Project Manager for water and wastewater engineering projects throughout Arizona.

Where have your travels taken you?: I have spent the majority of my career in Arizona, and have worked in small and large communities throughout the state, but I also have had stints in Boston, Kansas City, and Seattle. 


Brian FroelichProject MgrAchen-Gardner Construction LLC
Mr. Arnab GuptaSr Project MgrAECOM Technology Corporation
Ms. Alison SpellerTransp EngrAECOM Technology Corporation

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