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Matthew F. Villareale
Assistant Director of Public Works
Prince William County, Virginia
Dawn V. Odom
Planning and Investment Manager
Virginia Department of Transportation
Judith L. Hines
Assistant Director of Public Works
City of Newport News, Virginia
Kenneth M. Eyre, P.E
Greeley and Hansen, LLC
Steven J. Yob, P.E.
County Eng/Director PW
Henrico County, Virginia
Fred Whitley, P.E.
Senior Project Manager
Newport News, Virginia
Robert K. Bengtson, P.E.
Director of Public Works
City of Roanoke, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Harold R. Caples, P.E.
Virginia Department of Transportation
Donald J. Cole
Brown and Caldwell
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Sherry B. Earley, P.E.
City of Suffolk, Virginia
Shonté Eldridge, PMP
Chief, Special Projects
Department of Public Works
City of Baltimore, Maryland
Gaynelle L. Hart
Director of Public Works
City of Lynchburg, Virginia
Phillip J. Koetter, P.E.
Operations Management Administrator
Department of Public Works
City of Virginia Beach, Virginia
Joe Kroboth, III, P.E., L.S., PWLF
Director, Transp. and Cap. Infrastructure
Loudoun County, Virginia
Kelly Mattingly, LEED-AP, CRM
Director of Public Works
Town of Blacksburg, Virginia
David W. Plum, P.E.
Senior Manager, Municipal Engineering
Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Judith L. Hines
Assistant Director of Public Works
City of Newport News, Virginia
Sharyn L. Fox
Municipal Program Manager
Whitman Requardt and Associates, LLP
Newport News, Virginia
Winter is almost over, but what a winter it was in the Mid-Atlantic Chapter. In January, we experienced winter storm Jonas, which brought record setting snowfall totals across our chapter. In my county, Prince William County, VA, we had totals that ranged from 20" to 36" depending on where you were in the County. This was an epic three day storm, with blizzard conditions.
While most people stayed home and watched the snow fall, the public works departments throughout our chapter were out in the weather pushing snow.
In Prince William County, our Public Works team and contractors pulled together to get the County open for business a day earlier than the rest of the jurisdictions in Northern Virginia.
The men and women of VDOT and their contractors did an incredible job opening up roads for the citizens of Prince William County.
Furthermore, I know that snow fighters in the rest of Virginia, DC, Maryland and West Virginia did an awesome job as well!
The end of winter means the May 4-6 Mid-Atlantic APWA 58th Annual Conference & Equipment Show in Roanoke, VA is just a couple months away. This regional conference brings together public works professionals from the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. These public and private professionals meet for educational seminars and classes, as well as to exchange ideas, information and insights. This is going to be an electrifying event and we want you to be part of the excitement! Please register to attend, exhibit and/or sponsor.
Also this spring, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter is providing an educational opportunity for personal development. If your department is like most, you may be looking for excellent leadership training for mid-level managers at a reasonable cost. The Mid-Atlantic Chapter provides this training through its Public Works Institute (PWI).
On April 5th-7th at Virginia Beach, the PWI is hosting its second session, which will focus on Leadership and Management. The first session conducted by PWI received marvelous reviews from the attendees and instructors. The attendees appreciated the course content and networking that occurred between the attendees, instructors and public works directors that attended the social events. Employees will receive a certificate for completing all four sessions.
One final topic that I want to discuss from this winter is the APWA Accreditation Program. In our chapter, we have seven agencies that have become accredited with APWA. This program is a powerful tool for departments to gauge their performance in relation to national standards developed by public work professionals.
My department successfully completed its first reaccreditation in February 2016. We received accreditation in 2012. I see great benefits for an organization as they step through the process. In Prince William County, we improved our team environment. It helped our staff see beyond their area of responsibility and grasp the big picture.
Have an awesome & safe Spring. I look forward to seeing everyone in Roanoke this May!
APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter
Mid- Atlantic Public Works Institute
April 5-7, 2016
Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel
3501 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
The updated Institute website can be accessed HERE
The Chapter leadership has continued with developing the curriculum for the next Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute (M-PWI) session. Session II enrollment has been open and a good number of students from Session I are returning. The PWI is a great opportunity for organizations to develop current and future leaders to take over the reins of their agencies. To those public agencies who have committed to provide this unique educational event to our emerging leaders, we are extremely grateful.
Comments from Session I Participants:
- "Facilitators were very engaging and kept the level of interest at a level 10 the entire session. Great job!"
- "Interaction was great. Role playing really helped us see the issues better."
- "Great class participation. Learned what others are doing."
- "Excellent presentations! Learned some valuable tools."
- "Very informative. Great ideas for building a stronger department."
- "Lively discussion and very "real life.""
- "Great discussions about issues that we all deal with and never think about as much as we should."
- "Awesome job! Love the real life experiences the instructors shared."
- "Good management practices for field crews."
Special thanks to the following public works agencies who continue to commit to time away for the students to become engaged in this meaningful and worthwhile, unique educational experience.
- City of Annapolis, MD
City of Buena Vista, VA
- City of Virginia Beach, VA
- City of Hampton, VA
- City of Lynchburg, VA
- City of Newport News, VA
- City of Norfolk, VA
- City of Martinsburg,WV
- City of Petersburg, VA
- City of Salem, VA
- Town of Blacksburg, VA
- Town of Smithfield, VA
- Town of Christiansburg, VA
- Town of Vienna, VA
In recognition of the many chapter members who volunteer their time and talents to serve in committee and instructor positions, here are the Chapter Session II instructors making this program work.
City of Virginia Beach, VA
City of Norfolk, VA
City of Newport News, VA
Public Works Consultant, VA
City of Lynchburg, VA
City of Annapolis, MD
City of Greenbelt, MD
City of Baltimore, MD
Fairfax County, VA
Virginia Commonwealth University - VCU
Virginia Dept. Of Transportation - VDOT
Virginia Tech University
Thoughts on Diversity from our Chapter Members
The Diversity Committee is made up of both Public and Private sector employees, who work in different areas of the Chapter and who fall into different generational categories. This month we wanted to hear some our co-workers thoughts on diversity. Each member took one question and asked our co-workers, below is a compilation of the first two questions, the rest will be in future newsletters so be sure to come back!! If you would like to add your input, please email Scarlet Stiteler at email@example.com.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone in another generation about working with you?
The one piece of advice I would give others about working with would depend on who I was giving the advice to! If I were talking with a Baby Boomer, I would advise them that not everything is set in stone and that change is ok! If I were talking with a Millennial, I would advise them that not everything has to change and to have patience, not everything results in instant gratification. And finally, if I were talking to a fellow X'er I would simply state....you know what I mean!
Jason, Acting Administrator City of Newport News Department of Public Works,
What does Diversity mean to you and how has it impacted your career?
To me, diversity means the absence of a single trait or characteristic that overwhelms a group and prevents effective progress in achieving a goal or making a well-informed decision.
It is too simple to define diversity as an assessment of physical traits (race, gender, age) that can be calculated within a short period in order to generate a bias of productivity of operation or engagement. As a young, female engineer attending a technical meeting / conference, I will admit I've walked into the room, counted the number of old, white men and jumped to the conclusion of how my voice may be heard, how my views may be received, and whether I'll be asked to "keep minutes". Before any word is spoken, the correlation of challenges was made solely on the ratio of physical traits-- how much I was like or different from the other people in the room.
This correlation toward bias was founded on experience of attending college classes where I was usually one of only two women in the class. In my 20s, I would visit construction sites where the foreman would happily remind me that I was younger than his daughter. In my mind, it seemed like I always had to work harder to prove my ability.
Over time though, I found that my assessment of diversity expanded beyond physical traits as my career progressed. There were three major milestone transitions in my career: (1) large city to small town, (2) southern United States to mid-Atlantic, and (3) private to public sector. With each of these transitions, I realized the assessment of diversity could include political views/ affiliation, geographic origins, and education / career experience. The assessment was not as obvious as physical traits, but it became more meaningful in determining the challenges and assistance in accomplishing the goal or making well-informed decisions.
Kimberly L. Grove, P.E., Chief, Baltimore City Department of Public Works, Gen X
NFWF Grant Helps City of Richmond Landmark Meet TMDL Requirements
American Public Works Association - Mid-Atlantic Chapter
Monthly Newsletter Submission - Feature Article
An aerial shows the grandeur of the Maymont estate (courtesy of the Maymount Foundation)
Meeting Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) regulations requires innovation and resources. Recently, the City of Richmond, the Maymont Foundation, and VHB teamed up to develop a successful plan to address stormwater in this urban park-a plan that not only created innovative educational opportunities, but also received funding through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant.
Located in Richmond, Virginia, Maymont has been an admission-free urban green space and museum for nearly 90 years. Owned by the City but managed by the Maymont Foundation, this 100-acre estate in the heart of the city features an award-winning Gilded Age historic house museum, parkland, gardens, a nationally-recognized arboretum, the Robins Nature & Visitor Center, and the Children's Farm. In 2011, the American Planning Association recognized Maymont as one of America's Top 10 Public Spaces.
To remain one of the top public spaces, Maymont has committed to conserving and protecting its assets for the future by demonstrating leadership in
environmental sustainability and conservation, and collaborating with partners in the Richmond community. In line with these goals, the Foundation recently partnered with VHB to develop a Stormwater Master Plan. The study assessed existing water quality and quantity conditions and set a foundation for building their capital improvements using sustainable practices. The results concluded that the park is exceeding the baseline phosphorous, nitrogen, sediment, and runoff volume conditions due to impervious areas, surface erosion, stream bed and bank erosion, and runoff from livestock areas.
|A stream cuts through the Maymont property|
Maymont's landscape consists of grassy rolling hills, forested areas, fenced-in pasture areas with livestock, paved sidewalks, parking facilities, and buildings. The study site was divided into five sub-watersheds that all drain to Dooley's Branch, a narrow stream channel that flows in a southwesterly direction toward the James River. Dooley's Branch is formed by two perennial tributaries that both originate from an offsite urban storm sewer network. Several grass ephemeral channels also feed Dooley's Branch, conveying runoff from forested, maintained grass, pasture, and impervious areas.
VHB assessed several water quality treatment measures for Maymont, and determined that three water quality projects would provide the most effective nutrient reduction and the offsite receiving watershed from the City of Richmond. These three projects also provided habitat enhancement, biological lift, aesthetic value, and educational outreach opportunities.
The first project would be a water quality treatment train near the Children's Farm as a part of their Phase 1 improvements. VHB designed the water quality treatment train to consider a bio-retention practice, followed by an infiltration step pool conveyance system, and ultimately draining to a floodplain wetland area. The treatment train will provide phosphorous reduction, nitrogen reduction, and runoff volume reduction. The treatment train will not only provide treatment to currently untreated impervious areas, but also will serve as a landscape amenity and educational opportunity for the Children's Farm. The educational opportunity was a key feature for the Foundation-VHB looked for creative ways to treat stormwater while also enhancing Maymont's natural features and educating the public on the important of treating stormwater runoff.
Two future projects would restore and enhance two perennial tributaries of Dooley's Branch. These projects will improve the hydrologic balance, sediment processes, biological function and chemical processes to the stream and
downstream receiving waters. "I am honored to be a part of this project," stated VHB Managing Director Diane Linderman, "In addition to enhancing the visitor experience for this significant public resource, this project also contributes to the water quality of the James River and the Chesapeake Bay. We're excited to provide creative, innovative solutions that positively impact our community."
Together, the stormwater management practices and the stream restoration will provide significant reductions in phosphorous, nitrogen, sediment, and runoff volumes to pre-development forested baseline levels providing significant water quality and habitat improvements to the James River from Maymont and the surrounding City of Richmond watershed.
The reductions created from VHB's proposed implementation projects will be applied towards Maymont's proposed sustainable site improvements and the City of Richmond's Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reductions. Ultimately, the improvements will provide significant nutrient and sediment reductions to the Bay as well as having a direct positive impact to the receiving James River, which currently has Chlorophyll-a TMDL. Most importantly, the nutrient and sediment reductions will contribute greatly to meeting the 2025 Chesapeake Bay Phosphorous, Nitrogen, and Sediment TMDL Reduction Goal.
VHB recently assisted the Foundation in obtaining a grant for environmental restoration for improvements to the Chesapeake Bay watershed from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The $200,000 grant will aid with the implementation of these innovative stormwater infiltration systems and natural system restoration projects. These projects will be a valuable educational component to inform the public of the water quality benefits from sustainable naturally functioning stormwater management systems.
Joe Caterino, PE, is a Senior Water Resources Engineer with VHB. He has more than 20 years of experience managing and designing environmental restoration projects focused on stream, wetland, and stormwater resources.
Chapter's 58th Annual Conference May 4-6, 2016 in Roanoke, Virginia
Dawn Odom, President-Elect
The 58th Conference & Equipment Show will take place May 4-6, 2016 at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in Roanoke, VA. The conference theme is "Public Works Gets Things Done" and recognizes the agencies and their employees for service that never sleeps and compliments the Chapter's 60th anniversary. The Mid-Atlantic Chapter turns 60 years old in 2016 and a tribute to this milestone will be made during the conference social event at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.
Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to network with your public works peers from the areas served by the Chapter - Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. This regional conference will bring together public works professionals offering educational seminars, information and insights. The conference program will include the annual ROAD-e-o and golf tournament, and organizers are adding an event for young professionals at a local pinball museum.
A well-rounded technical program is taking form as the committee reviews abstracts. Special guest speakers will include Brian Usher, National APWA President and Dr. Otto Schwake, a member scientist of an independent research team from Virginia Tech. Dr. Otto Schwake and others are volunteering time and resources to help resolve scientific uncertainties associated with drinking water issues being reported in the City of Flint, MI.
Cow Branch Phase III: Urban Stream Restoration
Prince William County has undertaken stream restoration projects for a number of years as part of its Watershed Management Program. Projects primarily occur in more urbanized areas, which bring a unique set of constraints and challenges. It takes time to plan, design and implement these projects, which often result in multi-phased projects that take several years to complete. Cow Branch Phase III, the final phase of a larger project along Cow Branch, is one such project recently completed by the Prince William County.
Cow Branch is part of the Neabsco Creek watershed, which is a tributary of the Potomac River. The restoration project included the restoration of 4,000 feet of Cow Branch between Route 1 and Montgomery Avenue. Its roughly two square mile drainage area consists of a relatively high density of residential and commercial development including Potomac Mills Mall. This particular stretch of Cow Branch located in the Route 1/I-95 corridor was identified as a problem area in 2007 during the County's ongoing stream assessment program. Planning began in 2008 and Phase I was completed in 2011. Phase II followed the next year and the last phase was completed in 2015.
Like many streams, Cow Branch was deeply incised. It had cut down through a deep layer of legacy sediments and started to widen significantly resulting in severe bank erosion. In many places, the stream banks were nearly vertical - ranging in height between 10 and 15 feet. As the banks eroded, trees uprooted and fell into the channel. This caused blockages and left voids that exacerbated the erosion, which lead to an inevitable unraveling of the channel. It is likely the stream would reach some sort of equilibrium and relative stability, but over an extended period of time, tons of sediment and other pollutants would end up downstream in the Chesapeake Bay - resulting in degraded water quality and threatened existing infrastructure. The goal of Phase III was to intervene by utilizing natural stream design techniques to provide the necessary ingredients for a stable stream system.
Deeply incised stream channel prior to construction with vertical 10 to 15 food stream banks
Restored channel with constructed riffle, floodplain benches and channel depth of 3.5 feet
The specific design objectives for Phase III was the retention of sediment by providing a stable channel, reconnection of the stream to its floodplain in order to dissipate energy, and reduction of channel erosion during larger storm events. In addition, while not a primary goal of the project, protection of existing infrastructure was a critical component of the design. There were three main infrastructure challenges associated with the project.
The first challenge was to effectively transition the stream from the existing triple box culverts under Opitz Boulevard to the beginning of the restoration reach. These culverts were causing increased velocities and scour areas at the end of an existing riprap apron located immediately downstream of the culverts. There was also a 10-foot vertical drop from this riprap apron to the invert of the stream. The solution was to create a large plunge pool reinforced with stone to provide both the necessary grade control and to reduce velocity.
Downstream of triple box culvert prior to construction
Constructed plunge pool for velocity reduction and channel realignment
The second challenge faced was an existing sanitary sewer located adjacent to the channel. Given the proximity of this sewer line and the degraded condition of the channel, effective restoration along the current stream alignment would not be possible. So to
remedy this problem, the restored channel was moved away from the sanitary sewer. Although initially a constraint, the alternative had a number of advantages. Without lateral constraints, the optimum cross-section could be built and both the length and sinuosity of the channel could be increased. In addition, construction would not be hindered by the unstable clay and sand substrates present within the existing channel. This allowed us to build, complete and stabilize the new channel "in the dry", while stream flows were maintained in the existing channel.
The third challenge was to accommodate a new waterline planned as part of an adjacent residential development. Here the challenge was to coordinate the work to install the waterline with the construction work associated with the restoration effort. Since the stream was being realigned, we determined it was best to install the new waterline after the old channel was filled in, properly compacted and stabilized. However, we needed to time the projects so we were not installing the waterline through a freshly completed restoration project. The best solution was to install the waterline prior to the start of the
channel realignment but stop installation just shy of the old channel. After the waterline was installed, the new channel was created over the top of the waterline and given adequate cover. The old channel was filled in with material excavated from the new channel. Once the old channel was stabilized, the contractor installed the remaining portion of the waterline through the old channel area.
Stream restoration in urbanized areas is certainly a logistical challenge. It is difficult at times to accomplish natural stream design while dealing with constraints posed by existing infrastructure and other challenges associated with a developing watershed. However, it is possible with some planning and creativity as shown with the success of the Cow Branch project.
Warning! You're Being Warned!
Ever seen these labels before?
"Warning: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer." OR,
"Warning: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm."
Our landfill team recently received a batch of leather work gloves from a vendor and an employee noticed a California warning under "Compliance and Restrictions" on the Safety Data Sheet. He queried; "If this product is harmful in California, then why isn't it considered harmful here?" Another quipped; "Yeah, and why do labels on so many products contain warnings that are meant only for California?" These are great questions and deserve answers, so I thought I would explain why we see these CA warnings on so many products across the nation and the negative effects of having too many "warnings" in general.
It started in 1986 when California adopted the ballot initiative Proposition 65 or "Prop 65". It requires, among other things, anyone who manufactures or distributes a product sold in California that contains one or more of 800 listed chemicals, must include a warning label. Prop 65 regulates substances officially listed by California as having [as little as] a 1 in 100,000 chance of causing cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. The first regulatory arm of the Prop prohibits businesses from knowingly discharging listed substances into drinking water sources, or onto land where the substances can pass into drinking water sources. The second arm prohibits businesses from knowingly exposing individuals to listed substances without providing a "clear and reasonable warning".
Environmental Attorney Steven Christiansen explains; "[Manufactures] find it's easier and more cost effective just to place the Prop 65 warning on all their products rather than just place them on the ones going into California." While that makes economic sense for the manufacturers, it leaves many puzzled as to why the other 49 states don't have similar warnings.
The manager of a Utah-based facility that specializes in the analysis of chemicals in water, soils and hazardous chemicals said just because a cancer-linked chemical is present in a product, doesn't mean it's at a harmful level. Take Coke and Pepsi, for example. Both recently changed their caramel coloring formulas to avoid the Prop 65 label. The FDA had said the chemical in the original formula would take more than 1,000 cans of pop a day to reach doses shown to cause cancer in mice.
One must consider the vast majority of products manufactured for consumer use contain one or more of the 800 chemicals on California's list. It goes without saying that a great number of people including the scientific community rate this requirement anywhere from somewhat over the top to absurd. Californians are accustomed to warnings posted in bars, restaurants, coffee shops, schools, apartment buildings and on scores of products including a large warning sign taped to the wall behind the copy machine in my former Credit Union. I had never considered a copy machine was dangerous to my health but I digress. Critics say the label is so overused, it has lost its effect of warning people of legitimate dangers. And there is the larger issue - complacency. People become complacent when overwhelmed with warnings. Christiansen states; "That's one of the... knocks against Prop 65... that some people feel like it's a bit overkill...California isn't really accomplishing a whole lot more than what's already being done by federal agencies". Where the intent was to protect people from harm, this deluge of warnings has caused many to ignore all of them including those for products containing quantities of chemicals that can and will do harm to humans, animals and the environment if not used properly.
Using the leather work glove as an example; trivalent chromium and formaldehyde are used in leather tanning the latter of which is a regulated chemical. Residuals of formaldehyde in leather are well below permissible exposure limits. So the reality is the glove provides far more safety to the user than any hazard it might present. Being aware of this, employers should educate their employees so they can correctly decipher information and heed those warnings that alert to a clear and present danger.
It's also worth noting that while the manufactures recognized the economic gain in placing the California warning on all their product labels, employers may experience additional cost in countering the effect of oversaturation of warnings in general. Those cost could show up in site clean-up, worker's compensation (injury or illness), litigation and training.
Now you know!
Sonny Poteat - Safety Analyst
Fairfax County Virginia
Bill Gephardt's piece on KSL.com,
Oehha.gov - California Regulation - Prop 65
Oehha.gov - California List of Regulated Chemicals.
OSHA, OSHA 29 CFR, 1910.102
"Bike Boulevard" Project Provides Safe, Efficient Bike Routes and Pedestrian Upgrades to Richmond, Virginia
The City of Richmond, Virginia had the honor of hosting more than 1,000 of the world's top cyclists from approximately 75 countries in the UCI Road World Cycling Championships held in September 2015. Richmond was selected as the first American host of the event since 1986.
In preparation of the UCI races, the city spent several years getting ready. Part of the preparation included studying and evaluating bike infrastructure around the city. The varying conditions throughout the City required the city to utilize a variety of bikeway options and designs. The City had to determine which designs would be appropriate for various neighborhoods based on the framework of the streets and the general layouts. The street grid limits the city's ability to stripe dedicated bike lanes in some instances, but affords opportunities to create traffic-calmed streets.
The UCI event served as a catalyst to jumpstart many bike initiatives. One such street identified as a potential efficient and inviting bike corridor was Floyd Avenue. The Bike Boulevard Project on Floyd Avenue was conceived as part of the Mayor's Pedestrian, Bicycle and Trails Planning Commission efforts in 2010. Richmond is proud to announce that its first "Bike Boulevard" Project is scheduled to be completed by early May 2016.
"Forward movement with this Bike Boulevard Project helps tremendously with our effort to develop a city-wide network of bike infrastructure," said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. "Through this project, we are further diversifying mobility in the city and enhancing both transportation options and recreation." The project installation is along a 2-mile stretch of Floyd Avenue from North Thompson Street to North Laurel Street. The majority of the $900,000 capital improvement project comes from federal funding sources.
A Neighborhood traffic circle replaced a traffic signal. Results include: reduced delay and idling for both bicyclists and motorists while serving as a traffic calming device
Curb extensions used in conjunction with a neighborhood traffic circle provide traffic calming while also increasing sight triangles for improved safety. Traffic calming features used in series at consecutive intersections (circle in background as well) ensure traffic speeds are kept low while allowing efficiency of travel along the corridor
The following safety measures are included in the project:
- Landscaped residential traffic circles and bump outs
- Speed tables along with enhanced pavement markings
- Pedestrian crosswalk markings and signs
- Wheelchair accessible ramps
- Green-highlighted sharrow markings
In total, the city modified 12 intersections along the corridor to provide engineering treatments to make it an efficient, safe bicycle route with low traffic speeds and volumes, while also incorporating improvements for pedestrians.
Final plans for the Floyd Avenue Bike Boulevard Project followed extensive community meetings and input. The enhancements will improve vehicular and pedestrian interaction through slower operating speeds for motorists and shorter crossing distances for pedestrians. In an effort to emphasize the priority of biking and walking and to reinforce the importance of reducing speed on the street, the city is conducting a traffic engineering study.
Complementing this project, the city also completed the following bikeway projects:
- The installation of over 400 bike racks with plans to install an additional 70 during the spring of 2016
- Buffered bike lanes on two of the city's busiest crossings of the James River located at the Manchester Bridge and Lee Bridge
- Buffered bike lanes on the Martin Luther King Bridge/Leigh Viaduct linking downtown to the Church Hill neighborhood
- Buffered bike lanes on the northern portion of Hermitage Road and West Leigh Street near the Redskins training camp
- Completion of the City's portion of the Virginia Capital Trail
- Striping of standard bike lanes along Forest Hill Ave and Hermitage Road
Going forward, the city has additional bike lane projects under design for the summer of 2016. One of the programs to be launched will be the public bike-share system. Bike-sharing offers a great energy friendly alternative method of transportation, plus it's an inexpensive and quick way to travel. Users check out bicycles from docking stations for a fee and return them when finished. The stations will be strategically placed throughout the city. The bike-share program will start with twenty docking stations and the program is expected to expand to include up to forty stations with 450 bikes.
Is your membership information up to date? Please update your
Municipal North - Celebrating 100 Years and "Open to the Public" At Last
Nell Boyle LEED AP BD+C
Sustainability Coordinator, City of Roanoke
"This is your government, your city hall, we're open and we're welcoming you"
Chris Morrill, City of Roanoke's City Manager (December 11, 2015)
When Chris Morrill came to interview for the job of City Manager at the City of Roanoke, he went to the grand north entrance of the original municipal building. He found it closed off and closed to the public.
The entrance to the beautiful historic building had been closed off since 1971, when the
Municipal South addition was built. At that time, the steps had fallen in to disrepair and were chained off for safety reasons. In 1984, the north lobby was renovated in to offices for the Department of Human Resources, completely removing the lobby area. So when Chris Morrill accepted the position of City Manager in 2010, he vowed that the beautiful entrance would be restored to its original glory and serve as an operating entrance to the City again.
The north lobby today - open to the public!
After a major renovation, the north entrance was opened to the public for the first time in thirty years on December 11, 2015 with the community celebrating the 100th year anniversary of the building.
The Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building is comprised of two phases of construction. The original building, or Municipal North, was completed in 1915 and was designed in neo-classic architecture, popular in the early 20th century. It is currently listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The second phase of construction, Municipal South, was built in 1971 and has a modern architectural style with clean lines that blended nicely with the more ornate historic building.
As the north building approached its 100th anniversary, the planning began for the restoration of the entrance and the lobby. The project was conducted entirely by city staff under the direction of Charles Anderson, the City's lead architect. The departments of Engineering and Facilities Management worked closely together to re-create the lobby to its original grandeur as well as the exterior entrance. The timeframe was tight - work on the exterior work began in June 2015 and was completed by August. The lobby work began in September and was ready for the "chain-cutting" celebration in December.
The scope of the work included:
- the deconstruction the HR offices and relocation of the department
- repair and reconstruction on 37 steps and installing new hand rails
- replacing doors
- restoring historic light fixtures
- re-crafting decorative molding
- replicating the marble floors
- completing new office configuration
Historic renovations are subject to unexpected challenges and this project was no exception. It was even more challenging since the timeframe was extremely tight. Project highlights:
- There were difficulties rebuilding a portion of the steps, the first attempt was unacceptable so they were removed and poured them again.
- The team had to blend historic light fixtures with the new replacement fixtures.
- The original exterior post lamps were refurbished, re-wired and converted to LED lighting.
- The interior light fixtures were custom designed to replicate the original lights and also feature LED lighting. they also included LED fixtures.
- The team used highly detailed craftsmanship to finish the interior work.
- The crown molding was painstakingly rebuilt by the facilities employees.
- The marble floor had been covered but could not be saved, so ceramic tile was used to mimic the pattern previously displayed on the floor.
By December the project had been completed and the opening day arrived the new entrance was ready for everyone to enjoy. The entire project team well exceeded expectations with the masterful and skilled finish work of team members.
At the opening event, Mayor Davis Bowers joined City Manager Chris Morrill and representatives from City Council to cut the "chain" that had blocked the entrance to the building, opening it to the community again. City employees, the local media and interested citizens gathered to enter the building.
Prior to the official event there was one other surprise, the photographer that was hired to commemorate the special day, used a drone to take an aerial picture of the group on the steps. The picture appeared in the Roanoke Times the next day, which served to launch the next hundred years for the City of Roanoke!
City of Roanoke employees gather on the steps of the newly renovated north entrance of the Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building for an aerial picture (taken by a drone) to commemorate the "Chain-Cutting" event.
The Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building, Reopening of the North Entrance was awarded the 2016 APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Award for projects under $5 Million in the Historic Restoration/Preservation Category.
DC Public Works Bicycle Collection Program Helps Create Jobs
The Department of Public Works (DPW) has gathered over 100 abandoned bicycles since it began its bicycle removal operations last fall. These bicycles are then used in a special training program.
When a citizen calls to report an abandoned bicycle, DPW staff collects the bikes and then donates them to Gearin' Up Bicycles, a DC-based nonprofit organization designed to teach essential workplace skills to teenagers from underserved communities. The teenagers are taught to repair the bicycles and gain essential skills to help them find employment.
Gearin' Up then provides these quality used bicycles to residents in need at a very affordable price. In addition, Gearin' Up hosts various community outreach programs throughout the year. One of the program focuses on the environmental advantages of bicycles as a means of transportation.
"This is a win-win opportunity for the city," said DPW's Solid Waste Management Administrator Jeffrey Powell. "We're getting abandoned equipment off the street, which is an eye sore and could pose a danger to the public, and providing them to a source that provides training opportunities to help more in our community obtain employment."
DC Public Works Launches Office of Waste Diversion
The Department of Public Works (DPW) recently established an Office of Waste Diversion, which is charged with leading the District towards diverting 80% of all waste from landfill and incineration to recycling, composting, and reuse. To reach this ambitious goal the new office will develop a Zero Waste Plan that will include a combination of action items to be implemented over time. The office will work with stakeholders, including private and public waste haulers, district residents, other regional jurisdictions, and an interagency working group, to influence district-wide progress towards a more sustainable waste stream.
An Interagency Waste Reduction Working Group (IWRWG) has also been established to influence and support this work. The members are from the DC Department of Energy and the Environment, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, and the DC Department of General Services. Other individuals will be included depending on the action items being developed by the group as needed. This group will lead to increased transparency in the zero waste plan process and allow the plan to benefit from the knowledge of diverse individuals and groups throughout District Government.
On February 10th, the IWRWG came together for their first meeting. There were 20 District Government employees in attendance to discuss how the group would work together and what tasks they would take on first.
Together Waste Diversion and the IWRWG have begun to work on several new projects. These include producing the first annual waste diversion report, planning an organic waste themed public event, developing a list of what items are recyclable or compostable for residents, and creating an online data system to register all private waste collectors in the District. These tasks, among others, will help to guide the development of the zero waste plan which will commence in the spring.
"Reaching 80% diversion is going to take a lot of hard work, collaboration, and innovation: but we can get there," said Waste Diversion Manager, Annie White. "We are putting together a talented team and have great support from our director (Chris Shorter) and the interagency working group.
The Importance of Effective Communications
Many years ago when I began my career in public sector management, a seasoned HR manager shared with me the importance of being able to communicate effectively with people at all levels and in all situations. That guidance has remained with me throughout my career and is often the first thing that I mention when I talk with and work with young professionals.
In one's career, especially in public works management or public works consulting, interacting with people in diverse roles and with diverse backgrounds is the norm. I often tell young professionals and managers that they will likely encounter: mayors, city managers, consultants, irate citizens, dissatisfied customers, unhappy employees, land developers, salesmen/vendors, and contractors (just to name a few) - all often before 9:00 am.
I can think of no other career that requires such diverse interaction with so many different people and personalities. Being able to communicate with these folks effectively is the key.
There is certainly no secret to successful communication but there are things that I would suggest that have worked for me - especially during difficult situations.
- Everyone, regardless of their position or status, deserves respect.
- Remember - we're all human and equal in God's eyes.
- Follow the golden rule. Talk to everyone in the same manner as you would expect them to talk to you.
- Take a deep breath.
- If there is a problem or a specific issue - remember - this too shall pass. Or my personal favorite: Ask yourself - Will this really matter 6 months from now?...
- Take a step back and look at the organizations priorities and determine exactly what you're trying to accomplish.
- Focus → Communicate → Refocus
From a casual conversation with a coworker at the coffee pot to important meetings with elected officials and/or the business community; communicating effectively is paramount to the success of your objectives and your personal success.
Calvin D. Clifton
Business Development Manager - Mattern & Craig