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PWX Plus

October 12–14, 2021

New this year, PWX Plus is a virtual PWX event that offers those unable to attend in person the chance to experience PWX online. PWX Plus will include the best of PWX in a combination of 88 pre-recorded and live presentations, including APWA’s first-ever virtual Hackathon. Visit with PWX exhibitors in the virtual booth area, and experience speed networking and interactive conversations with other PWX Plus attendees in the Lounge. All content from PWX Plus and the in-person PWX will be recorded and available to all PWX Plus attendees at a date following the program. Simply follow the Registration link for PWX and PWX Plus will appear as an option.

Attention PWX 2021 Exhibitors

All PWX 2021 exhibitors for the in-person event automatically receive a complimentary virtual booth profile in PWX Plus, allowing you to reach and engage hundreds of additional public works industry professionals looking to buy new products and services.

There are numerous virtual booth upgrade and sponsorship opportunities available. Gain new qualified leads and achieve your business goals by making a splash with PWX Plus. Learn more >

Schedule

Please note: Times listed are Central Time. Schedule subject to change.

Tuesday, October 12

Platform Open/Networking
9:00–10:00 a.m.

Opening General Session
10:00–11:30 a.m.

Break and Explore Exhibit Area
11:30–11:50 a.m.

8 Concurrent Education Sessions
11:50 a.m.–12:40 p.m.

Lunch Break and Explore the Exhibit Area
12:40–1:30 p.m.

8 Concurrent Education Sessions
1:30–2:20 p.m.

Break and Explore the Exhibit Area
2:20–2:40 p.m.

8 Concurrent Education Sessions
2:40–3:30 p.m.

Bonus Programming
3:30–4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 13

Platform Open/Networking
9:00–10:00 a.m.

General Session
10:00–11:00 a.m.

Break and Explore the Exhibit Area
11:00–11:20 a.m.

8 Concurrent Education Sessions
11:20 a.m.–12:10 p.m.

Lunch Break and Explore the Exhibit Area
12:10–1:00 p.m.

8 Concurrent Education Sessions
1:00–1:50 p.m.

Break and Explore the Exhibit Area
1:50–2:10 p.m.

8 Concurrent Education Sessions
2:10–3:00 p.m.

Break and Explore the Exhibit Area
3:00–3:10 p.m.

8 Concurrent Education Sessions
3:10–4:00 p.m.

Break and Explore the Exhibit Area
4:00–4:10 p.m.

Social Activity
4:10–5:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 14

Platform Open/Networking
9:00–10:00 a.m.

8 Concurrent Education Sessions
10:00–10:50 a.m.

Break and Explore the Exhibit Area
10:50–11:10 a.m.

8 Concurrent Education Sessions
11:10 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Lunch Break and Explore the Exhibit Area
12:00–12:50 p.m.

8 Concurrent Education Sessions
12:50–1:40 p.m.

Break and Explore the Exhibit Area
1:40–2:00 p.m.

8 Concurrent Education Sessions
2:00–2:50 p.m.

Break and Explore the Exhibit Area
2:50–3:00 p.m.

Closing General Session
3:00–4:15 p.m.

Education Sessions

Westerville, Ohio Takes on a Rising Watermain Break Rate Proactively with Data-Driven Replacement Planning
The Westerville water distribution system consists of 205 miles of predominantly ductile iron and cast-iron pipe installed beginning in the 1950s. With a break rate that began a steady acceleration in 2006, the City knew it must act proactively identify and replace poor performing pipe to maintain reliability. The City chose not to rely on industry standard values for predicting pipe life because those values vary widely and lead to inaccurate pipe break predictions. Instead, the City leveraged its pipe attribute data, empirical watermain break data, and information on pipe criticality to identify its riskiest pipes. Pipe and break data were imported into the infraSOFT on-line software platform, specifically designed to predict pipe failures. The software guides users through quality control steps to verify and improve data quality. Using the Linear-Extended Yule Process with Weibull survival curves and Markov Chain modeling of the progression of pipe deterioration, infraSOFT predicts the year-by-year probability of a pipe break for every pipe. Predicted break data was coupled with consequence of failure data, which was generated for each pipe based on its size, proximity to roads, water, structures, and service to critical customers. This resulted in a quantitative understanding of risk. With a listing of pipes prioritized by risk, the City evaluated replacement investment levels and chose an affordable annual expenditure that will stabilize the break rate. Replacements projects were coordinated with other upcoming City street and utility projects to minimize disruption and costs. Implementation of proactive watermain replacement is already underway with the expectations of reduced breaks and associated impacts, providing customers with a more reliable drinking water supply. The number of breaks in the system, which were expected to more than double over the next 15 years, will remain at or near current levels for at least that long.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will better understand that the costs of watermain breaks goes beyond direct financial costs, and that those direct costs may represent only one-third to one-half of the overall costs. In extreme cases, ancillary costs to the community can be much greater.
  2. Participants will better understand how different pipe cohorts behave differently and the importance of defining and characterizing cohorts so their behavior (i.e. failure patterns) can be understood, increasing the likelihood that the riskiest pipes will be prioritized.
  3. Participants will better understand how utilizing their on water system's pipe data will greatly improve the accuracy predictive results compared to generic pipe life predictions, and how advanced software using that data can be leverage to produce a customized cost-effective replacement plan.


Technology Benefits Asset Management

This paper will present the data collection system and technologies developed and utilized for the City’s building and ground water treatment plant facilities Asset Management Plans, including lessons learned and key benefits of incorporating easy to use mobile applications on the process. The City of Sugar Land (City) has implanted a citywide Asset Management Program to deliver services at an optimum level. With this plan, the City aimed to establish a precedent of data-based, transparent, and repeatable decision making. They developed a risk-based approach to the comprehensive management of their assets involving condition assessment. Since the data collected during the condition assessment feeds directly into the risk-based approach to manage of the assets, the quality data collected and managed was the lifeline of a successful outcome. Therefore, a data-driven approach was taken. Working hand-in-hand with the City, LAN (the engineering team) developed a methodology for the data collection that was robust, yet flexible for City staff to manage as future facilities came online. The data collection methodology utilized a data collection system developed by LAN, as well as ESRI based approaches. The development of the ArcGIS Database Schema, Collector, and Survey123 involved a development process made up of several iterations in development between the City and engineering team. While the City GIS department developed the initial spatial components of the agreed upon GIS schema, which included basic spatial locations along with name plate-based information, the engineering team developed mobile device applications for the field portion of the condition assessment. Initially, desktop review was performed to quantify information about the facilities using as-built drawings and other data provided by the City. The “boots on the ground” condition assessment followed allowing quantities to be verified, gaps in data and information are filled, and conditions are assessed.

Learning Objectives

  1. How to prepare schema for Survey123.
  2. Development of mobile app.
  3. Lessons learned for utilizing mobile app in the field.


How Long is my PVC Pipe Going to Last? Remaining Useful Life (RUL) Methodologies

85% of water utilities are owned or controlled by municipalities and fall under the public works departments. PVC pipe is a major asset they manage. PVC pipe was introduced in North America in 1951, using a tin stabilizer and as a corrosion-proof piping solution and was commercially introduced into the US public works market in the early 1960’s. Corrosion resistant, easy to install, low break rates and cost competitive to existing water, sewer and irrigation piping products, PVC pipe was quickly adopted by many communities. Today, over 40,000 North American water utilities use PVC pipe, and more than one million miles are in service – or about 78 percent of all new drinking water distribution pipes installed on the continent and these utilities are developing asset management plans and updating accounting’s pipe service life and asking “How long are these pipes going to last?” The initial design standards for PVC were based on the results of long term, steady state pressure regression tests and if the pipe did not experience significant cyclic pressure amplitudes, this design approach worked and is the basis for PVC pipe pressure ratings today (AWWA C900 and C905). Researchers discovered that PVC pipe had two distinct lives, one based on steady state conditions and the other based on cyclic (fatigue) conditions where frequent opening and closing of valves created transient conditions. Laboratory tests confirm that the fatigue mode of failure remains a possibility and the procedures for computing the number of cycles to failure for a given stress history has been well documented in literature. However, these studies were mostly developed based on lab test results, mostly driven by a single transient source. Fatigue analysis by using field monitoring data from pressure sensors under actual operating conditions are more accurate, yet complex. This presentation reviews a new methodology with real in-field examples of determining the RUL of PVC water pipes in service.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the issues of the traditional estimates of PVC pipe service lives.
  2. Explore the use of pressure sensors and data analytics to determine the RUL of PVC pipes.
  3. Learn how having a more accurate PVC RUL can increase the value of the utility and save money.


"Houston, We've Had a Pothole Problem"

In January of 2016 Mayor Sylvester Turner challenged the Houston Public Works (HPW) Transportation and Drainage Operations (TDO) to assess and repair all potholes reported by the next business day. The number of reported potholes increased by more than 30% shortly after Mayor Turner’s inauguration. HPW employees rose to the challenge and have been successful filling 98% of potholes by the next business day. We will explain HPW’s potholes problems, we will demonstrate what improvements we made to procedures, technology, scheduling & personnel. HPW field operation staff will share with you what was done differently to resolve this headline making news items. Repairs over 25 SF are “Not-a-Pothole” and referred as asphalt skin-patches. In-House crews perform partial and full depth skin-patch repairs on asphalt streets. Added contractors to assist with backlog of skin-patches. In-House crews perform asphalt patches on concrete streets. The pothole and patch repairs are intended to be as durable as possible. HPW centralized all forces from 4 quadrants to 1 primary location. Offered crews additional pick-up locations for more efficient travel time to problem locations. Utilized latest iPad to report and manage most of the work order. The City boosted employee morale by engaging employees and front-line supervisors in weekly meetings in regard to process improvement efforts. Implemented QA/QC group to ensure the accuracy of all data recorded. Created Pothole Action Plan. Implemented new SOP’s in addition to new techniques and cost-effective tactics without costing taxpayers any additional money. The pothole program includes “Next Business Day Potholes” and “Pro-Active Potholes” that are not reported by citizens but filled by operations & maintenance crews while on-site typically covering intersection-to-intersection potholes. To educate public/citizens a dedicated web-site covering all aspects of the program www.HoustonPotholes.org.

Learning Objectives

  1. Prepare to learn Houston Public Works (HPW) – Potholes problems.
  2. Demonstrate improvements to procedures, technology, scheduling and staffing.
  3. Recognize what HPW had to do differently to resolve citizen’s eye-catching issue.


Pavement Preservation: Extending the Life of Your Pavement Network

Over time, new pavements deteriorate due to the effect of traffic loads and the environment. If appropriate treatments are applied during the early stages of deterioration, it is possible to keep good roads good with minimal investments, instead of performing costly rehabilitation treatments later in the pavement’s life when the structure has deteriorated. Pavement preservation includes preventive maintenance, minor rehabilitation (non-structural), as well as some routine maintenance activities. Pavement preservation activities are intended to restore the function of the existing system and extend its service life, not increase its capacity or strength. Benefits associated with the implementation of a pavement preservation program include life extension of the existing pavement, lower treatment costs, reduced user costs, improved safety to the public and the workforce, improved overall network health, environmental benefits such as reduced air pollution and noise during construction, and sustainability. While there is a wide variety of treatments available, new and emerging technologies also continue to be added to the treatment toolbox. Understanding the applicability of each treatment and potential benefits that can be obtained is key for pavement managers who wish to implement a pavement preservation program.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify pavement preservation treatments available for flexible pavements.
  2. Determine appropriate pavement preservation treatments for a given set of conditions.
  3. Estimate the life-extending benefit of different treatments and use that information for pavement management.


Managing Infrastructure through Strategic Planning and Smart Budgeting

Post 2020, due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, it is a new era where future uncertainty is on everyone’s mind. Agencies responsible for managing critical infrastructure may face major challenges when it comes to maintaining the expected level of service and navigating through potential budget cuts and dropping revenues. This session will share how different local agencies are managing their assets while evaluating budget options based on smart analytics. Intent is to share leadership and management strategies that any agency can use to effectively navigate through the uncertain times while improving the deteriorating network condition of aging infrastructure.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify best practices to manage infrastructure network proactively.
  2. Discuss existing asset and maintenance management systems and programs.
  3. Promote the benefits of strategic infrastructure investment and budgeting


Introducing the APWA Asset Management Road Map

Over the last 30 years, a large body of national, international, and industry asset management standards and guidelines have been created. Today the industry continues to struggle with integrating with engineering, accounting, and community planning while aligning corporate goals with daily operations and maintenance, planning, budgeting, and delivery activities. Many organizations continue to have their budget and resource allocation entrenched in short-term, historical based budgeting processes. The challenge is how to adopt and sustain asset management practices to meet the demands and expectation of our communities while managing an aging infrastructure asset base. Where do we start and what does it look like? To assist jurisdictions navigate their asset management journey the American Public Works Association (APWA) has developed an interactive Asset Management (AM) Road Map. The AM Road Map is designed to assist communities systematically identify and implement their asset management system. The Asset Management Road Map is structured around ten key asset management themes defined as Road Map stops. Under each of the stops is a library of definitions, examples, and templates that communities can both access and contribute to. This session will introduce the APWA AM Roadmap.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will be better able to understand the steps to establish an asset management program.
  2. Participants will be better able to educate officials on the benefits of an asset management program.
  3. Participants will be better able to collaborate with staff from other disciplines to achieve the action items for each stop.


Better Road Networks for Less: Using Free & Powerful Digital Tools to Save Money & Extend Road Network Service Life

Reduced budgets. Deteriorating infrastructure. Now more than ever, in the wake of the COVID-19 economic impact, making the most of your taxpayer resources is critical to the health of your road networks. Learn to use free web-based tools and calculators that were designed especially for road managers and public works officials-- to assist in making data-driven decisions for annual pavement maintenance and asset planning. RoadResource.org, the free and unbiased industry tool from PPRA, features resources for public works officials, including asset management calculators for preserving and maintaining roads, as well as downloadable communication tools that can be leveraged with taxpayers and elected officials. Join the builders of this resource as they walk through how-to's such as optimizing life cycle cost, evaluating remaining service life, and prioritizing road projects through cost-benefit value; all in service to making the best use of taxpayer dollars. After nearly 6 years of research, planning and development among public works officials, experts in the pavement industry, and researchers in the field, these strategists have identified the important key traits, concepts, and approaches of the most successful road managers in North America, and leveraged them into these usable learning tools. At a time when infrastructure budgets are reduced, gas and sales tax revenues are down, yet costs and demands around pavement maintenance continue to climb-- every road manager owes it to their taxpayers to push each dollar as far as it will go. These free tools can get you (and your decision-makers) where you need to be.

Learning Objectives

  1. Compare & evaluate annual maintenance plans to maximize budgets for long-term road network impact.
  2. Assess, advocate, justify and explain annual plans to decision-makers and others who “hold the purse strings."
  3. Reduce reactive maintenance and increase the ability to proactively manage pavement deterioration, even with with smaller budgets.


Developing a Risk-Based Approach to Sidewalk and Ramp Prioritization

There are few assets where a condition-based, "worst first" approach to maintenance and replacement leaves a public works agency more exposed. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is mandatory, and fines for not complying can be significant. Often, strategy documents don't align with the in-the-field tactics of managing ADA assets like sidewalks and curb ramps. These facts make a risk-based approach to managing the sidewalk and curb ramps the right process. This presentation will cover why a "worst first" approach to managing assets “like” or “such as” sidewalk and curb ramps is not a good approach. We will discuss methods for developing an inventory using modern Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) Tools. and defining levels-of-service that align ADA Standards with your community's priorities. The presentation will conclude with examples of implementing a Risk-Based Approach to project prioritization. I have leveraged a risk-based approach to managing ADA assets of all types and sizes with public works departments in every region of the county. The process that will be outlined is universal and adaptable. All attendees will have a blueprint for leveraging risk modeling at the conclusion. This presentation will cover: 1) Tools used for developing an inventory of assets 2) Developing levels of service that compliment ADA requirements and organizational resources 3) Implementing a "risk map" for project prioritization I have used this approach in small and large cities as well as at state departments of transportation (DOTs).

Learning Objectives

  1. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to identify the tools used for developing an inventory of assets.
  2. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to develop levels of service that complement ADA requirements and organizational resources.
  3. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to implement a "risk map" for project prioritization.


Mobile LiDAR for ADA Transition Plan

This presentation will include using the cutting edge technology of mobile LiDAR and TopoDOT for ADA transition plans. It will begin with a brief intro on ADA transition plans, the requirements, and the large amount of data needed to do it right. We will walk participants through methods for collecting data and for analyzing ADA requirements on desired elements. The various types of reports will be discussed, as well as how cities use them most efficiently - including a case study showing how the city of Pekin, IL used the technology to scan and improve the city's entire sidewalk system. The goal is for participants to better understand the technology's capability and see applications in their own cities.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe LiDAR collection of ADA related data (vs. more traditional methods).
  2. Showcase TopoDOT, and how it analyzes this data.
  3. Describe GIS database and how it all comes together.


What is the Difference Between Asset Management and Maintenance Management?

This presentation will focus on the differences and similarities of asset management vs. maintenance management systems. The two terms are often used interchangeably but describe different processes that are related. Maintenance management focuses on the strategic approach to maximizing the benefits from resources used to preserve, operate, and expand the public infrastructure while asset management integrates planning development, maintenance, and financial functions to conduct investment analysis and tradeoff decisions, considering maintenance costs, mobility, and safety on an agencies infrastructure.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to determine the difference between Asset and Maintenance Management and the need for their application.
  2. Participants will be able to understand the process of resource allocation more effectively and efficiently.
  3. At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to apply asset and maintenance management concepts in establishing systems to sustainably manage their assets.


Using Artificial Intelligence to Identify Pavement Distresses in Terrell, TX

Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based technologies are emerging as efficient, inexpensive, and objective asset management solutions. One such solution, RoadBotics, automates pavement assessments by using vision-based machine learning (ML) to identify surface distresses and assign conditional ratings. RoadBotics’ objective ratings, practical tools, and interactive maps have saved resources for over 250 communities around the world. A RoadBotics assessment is completed in three easy steps. First, users collect road network data using a smartphone. Next, they upload the data for ML analysis, and then they manage and assess their road network results on RoadWay, RoadBotics’ GIS assessment software that displays a color-coded map with rated road imagery every ten feet. Additionally, the data can be integrated into almost any asset management platform, bridging the gap between fractured systems and allowing municipalities to manage their assets holistically. Individual Distress Identification (IDI) pinpoints pavement distresses and calculates their prevalence in the road network. The ML model identifies 18 distresses that fall into six categories critical to pavement management including potholes, surface deterioration, and fatigue cracking. With IDI users can strategically plan for the treatment of existing problems and proactively manage maintenance. In June 2020, RoadBotics completed an IDI assessment project in Terrell, TX, a city 30 miles East of Dallas. City officials sought a more efficient and data-driven approach to pavement management. From data collection to assessment delivery, it took six weeks and cost a fraction of other methods such as laser van inspections. RoadBotics assessments are a viable solution for communities of all sizes, from small boroughs to large metropolitan cities. Municipal leaders can use the data to communicate the condition of their road network and infrastructure improvement plans to their staff, decision-makers, and citizens.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the benefits of using Artificial Intelligence to automate pavement assessments.
  2. Experience and learn the data components of a RoadBotics assessment through a RoadWay demonstration.
  3. Learn how to assess Individual Distress Identification data, and use it to develop sustainable pavement management plans.


Project Overview: Using Drones to Monitor Water Line Construction and Generate Orthomosaics

The City of Houston owns and maintains approximately 7,500 miles of waterlines in its drinking water transmission and distribution system. As the region experiences continuing population growth, the City along with several regional water authorities have undertaken some of the largest water infrastructure projects in the nation. The vast scale of these projects provide a prime opportunity for the use of drones in monitoring construction progress and providing orthomosaic aerial imagery to the City. Capturing pre- and post-construction conditions, monitoring construction progress, observing the installation of major appurtenances, and producing custom aerial imagery. However, while drones offer a perspective that ground based footage simply cannot achieve, there are some additional considerations needed when using them on site. At the end of this presentation, participants will be better able to plan the utilization of drones in construction projects, appreciate and mitigate the risks posed to drones on site, and operate drones effectively to generate high quality orthomosaic images.

Learning Objectives

  1. At the end of this presentation, participants will be better able to plan the utilization of drones in construction projects.
  2. At the end of this presentation, participants will be better able to appreciate and mitigate the risks posed to drones on site.
  3. At the end of this presentation, participants will be better able to operate drones effectively to generate high quality orthomosaic images.


Improved Transparency Utilizing Visual Dashboards and Data Analytics

The world of data science is expanding at an exponential rate. The Port of San Diego has begun to utilize Power BI for data visualization tools to communicate progress on capital projects. Integration of Power Bi with enterprise software systems provides a customizable web-based view of project data analytics tool that offers a more user-friendly status review and reporting experience. Data is mined directly from two key software systems rather than digested through exports and reformatting. Find out how important easy visual reporting is to leadership, how sharing more improves confidence, and how you can start creating your own. Power BI makes it possible to quickly create visual measures to share with key stakeholders. During this workshop a hands-on demonstration will take mundane data to visually pleasing dashboard in no time.

Learning Objectives

  1. Leverage the power of data analytics to improve communication to leadership.
  2. Explain how data visualization tools improve the quality of project and program reporting.
  3. Learn how you can readily create similar dashboard reports for your organization.


Innovative Usage of GIS and Mobile Mapping Technologies to Manage Public Works Assets and Upgrades

Using tools within existing municipal systems, like Esri's ArcGIS applications, coupled with advanced surveying and mapping technology can produce valuable project management, asset mapping, and public engagement exhibits. These cutting edge tools can help a municipal team better utilize tools they are already subscribing to, and provide internal and public stakeholders with easy to understand visualizations that aid in the operations, maintenance, and expansion of assets. We will examine the latest technologies in laser scanning and mobile mapping, maximize your ArcGIS subscription, and encourage creative thought in how to use these tools to better manage your assets.

Learning Objectives

  1. Develop a knowledge of tools and technology in asset mapping.
  2. Explore full usage of assets already at your disposal.
  3. Create ideas on better visualization of asset management data.


Examples of Innovative partnerships with private entities, utilities and other agencies to leverage funds in order to complete much needed CIP infrastructure improvements with limited funding

City infrastructure such buildings, playing fields and roadways improvements benefit the community significantly but the responsibility to fund the improvements seems to always fall on the shoulders of the City agency only. However, through strategic thinking and innovative win-win partnerships with stakeholders who benefit from these infrastructure improvements, agencies have the opportunity and ability to partner and obtain outside financial contributions towards these improvements. "Real world" experience examples of such financial partnership opportunities were identified, negotiated and implemented on a street resurfacing project, street widening project, cross walk improvements, soccer field synthetic turf and field fencing replacement project and improvements to an iconic building at the end of beach pier will be shared. The audience will be able to benefit form the lessons learnt perspective in the identification of opportunities for partnership, partnership outreach, negotiations and implementation process. The audience will be able to learn how to engage and maintain the communication with the partnership agencies throughout the process to ensure a successful relationship and outcome.

Learning Objectives

  1. Through the case studies presented, the audience will be able to learn how to identify funding partnership opportunities with various stakeholders and steps in the initial outreach to these stakeholders - the win-win concept.
  2. The audience will benefit from the experience of the partnership negotiation process leading to meaningful collaboration of financial partnership/cost sharing and resources - listing out the deal points and closing the deal.
  3. The audience will learn that once the partnership agreements are executed, how a successful partnership engagement must be carefully administered and shepherded throughout the process to ensure the objectives are met at the end and everyone walks away satisfied of the final outcome.


Why Being a Good Client Matters

Have you ever wondered what consultants & contractors really think about their clients, & why it matters? David Skuodas works as a Project Manager in the owner role in the public works industry. He spent the past several years asking vendors in the construction industry the following question: “Why does it matter to be a good client?” Skuodas interviewed over 50 consultants, contractors, & client project managers about this topic. He asked them what differentiates a good client from a bad client, & how the client affects the cost, schedule, & quality of a project. He also asked them what conditions allow them to do their best work, & conversely, what makes it difficult for them to do their jobs effectively? This presentation allows you to peek behind the curtain & find out how consultants & contractors really differentiate between good & bad clients. You will learn how client behavior affects the price & quality of work, & even how contractors & consultants choose their clients. This presentation offers practical advice on how public works professionals can improve their standing with the consultant & contractor community so they can become clients of choice. Primary topics include Building Professional Trust, Paying Fairly & Punctually, & Managing Risks Equitably. Make no mistake, owners are in competition with each other. Desirable clients will attract more talented project teams, get more for their money, & build better projects.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the ingredients that go into building professional trust, and how trust between individuals and organizations can improve project quality, speed up schedules, and reduce costs.
  2. Learn about the value of being seen as a customer who pays fairly and punctually. Owners who develop reputations as being unfair or untimely with money end up getting charged extra or being avoided altogether by the best and brightest vendors on the next project.
  3. Discover subtle and obvious ways to more equitably manage risk on design and construction projects, to avoid paying for risks that never come to fruition.


Developing System Dynamic Models to Quantify Decisions: A Monetized Approach To Select Pipe Condition Assessment Technologies

Many water utilities are facing difficulties managing and financing their operational and capital programs. A systematic data-driven and risked-based approach is essential to effectively operate and manage assets, allocate limited financial resources, increase the reliability of assets, and mitigate the risk of asset failure. This presentation presents the development and application of a decision-support system using system dynamics to simulate and understand the dynamic behavior of complex water distribution systems. The system dynamics explicitly model the feedback mechanisms among various components of the system and show the impact of complex interconnections and feedback loops on management decisions. The system dynamics is applied to demonstrate long-term benefits of investing in condition assessment programs by laying out the connection points and identifying the interacting feedback loops that exist among the utility’s finance and infrastructure sectors with the risk of asset failure and capital improvement plans. A major aspect of this decision-support system, which differentiates it from standard industry applications, is that it allows the water utility to test the impact of a policy change or solution implementation to estimate the impact on utilities key metrics before the policy or solution is implemented. It also demonstrates the value of information to manage the risk of failure when making capital improvement programs. Water utilities can use this application to evaluate various decision-making policies and financing strategies to sustainably operate and manage their assets, mitigate the risk of asset failure, and making the water more efficient and affordable for their customers.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand how system dynamic modeling can help quantify complex decision making.
  2. Explore how a condition assessment selection tool can monetize and prioritize the various options based on pipe material and diameter.
  3. Learn how system dynamic decision making models can be applied to other complex public works issues.


“Public Works, the Other First Responder” in the City of Houston

HPW’s Emergency Management Program is built on the Emergency Management cycle: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. During responses, HPW provides life safety, incident stability, and property protection operational and tactical support to the Houston Fire Department (HFD), Houston Police Department (HPD), Mayor’s Office of Special Events (MOSE), Health Department, Department of Neighborhoods, Solid Waste, and other various city, county, state, and federal agencies. The “other first responder” community is also maintained by relationships. It takes time to develop and commitment to maintain these relationships. To establish trust within the first responder community, we must actively reach out to our partners in emergency management. HPW will demonstrate their response capabilities including heavy and specialized equipment (along w/video clips), traffic control devices, and response trained personnel; and discuss the importance and benefits of identifying, coordinating, training, and exercising with key response stakeholders. Currently, HPW hired a full-time HPW-Emergency Management Coordinator. Currently, HPW is in the process of issuing a UAS (unmanned aerial system) contract which includes emergency response support services. This UAS contract will allow insight into hard to reach area that could be flooded and enhance information and safety without putting boots on the ground. In last few years, HPW has supported and responded to natural disasters including tropical cyclones and floods; planned special events like the World Series, Houston Marathon, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, VIP and Presidential visits; and supported other life safety and incident stability operations during structural fires and technical rescues. HPW will demonstrate how and why Public Works Departments are the Other First Responder.

Learning Objectives

  1. Prepare to learn about Houston Public Works (HPW) – Emergency Management program.
  2. Demonstrate lessons learned and improvements to response procedures.
  3. Identify and demonstrate Houston Public Works’ (HPW) first responder role.


Hurricane Michael - Lessons Learned from a Category 5 Hurricane!

On October 10, 2018, Bay County was struck by the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the United States. It was the first Category 5 hurricane on record to impact the Florida Panhandle and produced the nation’s largest debris disaster. The storm was attributed to at least 74 deaths and caused an estimated $25.1 billion in damages. Bay County, Florida received the eye of the storm and the Public Works Department learned many important lessons both pre and post storm. Some of the lessons discussed in this presentation include: Pre disaster staging; Post disaster staging; Communications; FEMA paperwork and FEMA consultants; Disaster Management Sites (DMS); Feeding and lodging staff and their families; Emergency contracts; Post disaster traffic flow; FLAWARN; Post storm equipment needs; Long Term Recovery. Two years after Hurricane Michael, Bay County is still recovering. Plans are being put in place to help.

Learning Objectives

  1. Provide attendees with helpful suggestions for pre disaster.
  2. Provide attendees with post disaster short term needs and suggestions.
  3. Provide attendees with long term strategies for resiliency.


Staying Together in Tough Times - Public Works Response to Covid-19

COVID-19 has impacted our entire country and the world. Many businesses, organizations, and governmental agencies have shifted to working in a virtual environment or have been required to shut down to minimize the spread. However, Public Works operations have continued to provide their essential functions to maintain our infrastructure, whether streets, storm water maintenance, water utilities, sewer operations, traffic control devices, or maintaining government buildings, including those used by the public. This session will discuss the various strategies (PPE, use of technology, minimizing contact) to ensure employee’s safety adopted by public works agencies throughout the country to respond to the pandemic. We will also discuss some positive benefits this situation has created such as expedited technology usage in public works that has allowed more efficiency and impact to services provided. Pandemics and natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes demonstrate that public works is a first responder and is vital to our society. These dedicated employees have had to adjust and update how they do work, what resources they use, and how they communicate in a short period of time. Public Works staff have kept working in operations while managing COVID-19 concerns and risks, which has allowed our supplies, emergency response, and commerce to keep flowing. They have also permitted residents and businesses to have clean water and disposal of liquid and solid waste, safe streets to drive on, and facilities to use. They have accepted new responsibilities and are able to adapt quickly. Public works has again shown as always, to be first to respond and last to leave. This COVID-19 crisis shows just how public works have adapted and provided necessary support to keep infrastructure functioning for citizens, users, and business in this most challenging time. Based on article published in APWA Reporter.

Learning Objectives

  1. Adapting new ways to respond tough situations.
  2. Leveraging technology and apps to enable an effective workforce.
  3. Taking up a challenge and working together as a team.


The Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Assessment Process – unifying risk assessment, cyber security, employee safety, and continuity of operations

The presentation will detail the experience of a large, full-service municipal public works department, the city of Olathe, Kansas, going through the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS CISA) Protective Services and Cybersecurity Assessment processes. It will be a roundtable including both public works and emergency management professionals as well as members of DHS CISA Protective Services and Cybersecurity groups. The discussion will have two areas of focus. First, participants will discuss specific critical areas of risk assessment, cyber security, employee safety, and continuity of operations. We will pay specific attention to basic risk assessment principles, SCADA vulnerabilities, physical security and active shooter training, and second and third order threats to service delivery. Second, we will have an open discussion on the DHS CISA assessment process as it pertains to the unique needs of public works, both areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Finally, this presentation will provide attendees the opportunity to hear from all three stakeholder groups involved in this process and gain an awareness of how this free program may be of benefit to their agency.

Learning Objectives

  1. Review their organization’s own risk assessment processes and procedures in order to inform potential changes moving forward.
  2. Evaluate whether a DHS CISA assessment is suitable for their organization and how they can go about going through this free DHS program.
  3. Recognize elements of risk assessment that are appropriate for inclusion in America’s Water Infrastructure Act Emergency Response Plan (AWIA ERP).


Emergency Management, How to Include and Protect Citizens with Disabilities

Emergencies are equal opportunity occurrences in communities as they impact citizens with and without disabilities. It is vitally important that communities prepare so that they will have solutions to draw from in emergencies while maintaining a person’s dignity at all times. Information will be provided regarding how to plan for individuals with specific needs, including mobility, visual, hearing, and cognitive impairments as well as for people whose survival requires medical equipment. Accessible evacuation plans and shelters will also be addressed along with laws regarding service animals. Attendees will learn about questions that can and cannot be asked of people with disabilities and about politically correct disability-related terminology.

Learning Objectives

  1. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to establish an Emergency Preparedness Community Network of local and state officials, medical and emergency response personnel, transportation authorities, and community members with disabilities.
  2. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to plan for Emergency Evacuation, including accessible sheltering, emergency egress routes, areas of rescue assistance, accessible transportation, and accommodating service animals.
  3. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to address a person with disabilities with politically correct language.


Emergency Management and Response – The Engineer’s Perspective

In the spring of 2019 like many mid-western communities along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, Jefferson City, Missouri prepared to face flooding. What we didn’t expect was to also be faced with the aftermath of an EF-3 Tornado. A few minutes before midnight on May 22, 2019 Cole County and Jefferson City, Missouri began a joint recovery operation dealing with power failures, debris removal, and sheltering of citizens displaced by the storm. This effort was hampered by also dealing with the river flooding which left limited access to the State Capitol Building and other essential statewide offices. The session will focus on the Engineer’s role in response and working joint with other public and private agencies handling security, emergency response, recovery, volunteer and donation management.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understanding the engineer’s role in emergency management.
  2. Understanding the issues related to working collaboratively with other response agencies including both emergency services as well as the human services agencies.
  3. Understanding the value of documentation in a declared emergency.


Interactive Indoor Maps for Facility Managers

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, over half of all commercial buildings were constructed before 1980. Unfortunately, as commercial floor space is utilized, infrastructure ages, and facilities weather, the risks of equipment failure, personnel safety, and costly downtimes grow. In order to keep organizations safe and productive, facilities managers are increasingly turning to interactive indoor maps to support data-driven facilities management. Learn how interactive indoor maps help facilities, operations, and security operations finish more tasks, complete more projects, improve safety, and make commercial building space increasingly productive for their occupants.

Learning Objectives

  1. Provide best practices that helps them understand firsthand how they can apply today’s trends and technology to their work.
  2. See how they can apply GIS for facilities management.
  3. Explore and implement new indoor mapping technology.


Tiny Trees - Big Impacts

The Tiny Trees program has successfully distributed 20,000 trees into Des Moines city in the short space of 3 years. Tiny Trees uses volunteers, and a unique drive up system, that has been fine-tuned over the last 3 iterations. The following presentation will provide a blueprint to which any city can replicate the same results. Many cities around the glove must contend with large weather events, growing and increasing the urban forest is a solid investment in mitigating many modern problems such cities face (water interception, heat islands, social equity…etc). The City of Des Moines is a flood and snow city, so increasing our urban canopy plays an integral part of our long term future proofing strategy. Using the local DNR nursery, an ordering system is set up where the public can order up to 5 trees for private use. As much as this program increases the urban canopy, it is also a huge educational program, bringing the urban forest into many citizens thoughts and lives. The city has managed to bridge a gap by providing 5 trees, for free, to any homeowner in the city. Normally, the DNR sells orders in minimum quantities of 100 trees. The citizen wins, and the city also wins due to increased canopy growth. Although this is run through the forestry division, Tiny Trees involves many divisions and is broadcast for many months prior. The feel-good effect of this program is massive, with citizens asking and anticipating the event many months in advance. The event also involves many volunteers, from nonprofits to large companies, with anywhere from 50 to 100 volunteers working throughout the event. It is hard to find a city run event that touches so many different groups, and provide green infrastructure at such a low price. This presentation with give an overview, some interesting stories, robust statistical numbers and the tools to start putting it all together should another city want to replicate Des Moines City Tiny Trees.

Learning Objectives

  1. Make an informed decision on whether they can run a similar program to Tiny Trees.
  2. Plan and implement a Tiny Trees program.
  3. Promote all beneficial aspects from a distribution Tiny Trees program.


Our Future with Trees: A Practical Approach to Plan, Protect, and Restore Your Urban Forest.

As increasing research is done into emerging trends and citizen’s expectations for our Cities, one item is becoming clear: trees are a valuable part of a community and the Urban Forest is expected to be preserved and replanted going into the future. However, building a policy or an ordinance to achieve this can quickly turn into a daunting task. Beginning in 2010, the Springfield MO Urban Forestry department has focused on establishing a simple, effective way to rebuild its urban forest using three core strategies: • Tree preservation during construction • Tree planting to mitigate losses • Building the NeighborWoods program, encouraging citizen participation These strategies have placed Springfield’s urban forest, and our community, in a strong position that is getting better every day.

Learning Objectives

  1. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to recognize the importance of the urban forest and consider it as part of the essential infrastructure of their City.
  2. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to apply the straight-forward preservation and reforestation concepts presented to strengthen their local urban forest.
  3. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to develop relationships with other departments and utilities in their City to preserve and restore their urban forest City-wide.


Flipping the Switch: Making the change to an electric sweeper, lessons learned from the city of Thun, Switzerland

An educational program designed to provide real life feedback from cities who have started the electrification of their municipal work truck fleets. The audience will leave prepared to introduce newer technologies to their fleet while avoiding common pitfalls. The presentation will rely on direct feedback from city management and maintenance supervisors from European cities, mainly the Swiss city of Thun (specifically their change to an electric sweeper). Scientific research will be presented, as well as case studies from European countries that have already made the switch to electric vehicles. Abstract American technology and know-how are well-respected in many industries throughout the world. However, in the area of electric vehicles, Europe has the reputation for being a front runner in the implementation of these advanced technologies that can improve overall fleet performance and save money while meeting tighter environmental standards than those in the US. It is common in many cities across Europe to see a switch to electric municipal work trucks. In the near future, such technologies will make an impact in North America as well, presenting an opportunity to ease our implementation by learning from the mistakes and the wins that our counterparts made when adopting this technology. Electric vehicles are not simply about lower emissions and reducing environmental impact. Rather, the change can provide many benefits to a city from reducing costs and noise pollution to extending the workable hours for their fleet. The presentation will rely heavily on the practical experience of the Swiss city of Thun, outlining their switch to an electric sweeper. Toward the end of the presentation, we will also discuss new technologies on the horizon for fleet managers.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn why cities are looking to electrical vehicles and how they prioritize making the change.
  2. Learn how to layout a plan to introduce the first electric vehicle to a fleet.
  3. Learn the common obstacles cities face when making the change to an electric vehicle.


Utilizing Machine Vision and Artificial Intelligence to Improve Safety and Efficiency

Despite less miles being logged in 2020 than years past, roadway fatalities are higher than it has ever been on per million miles per fatality rate. The statistics are speeding, clear-distracted driving and other high-risk behavior that need to be managed. Machine Vision and Artificial Intelligence (MV+AI) can see, identify, and categorize objects and behaviors that contribute to high risk driving. The goal is to prevent injuries and fatalities before they become a reality, and MV+AI can help achieve that. Technology not only helps fleets run more efficiently, but also more safely. Join this meeting to learn how Machine Vision and Artificial Intelligence (MV+AI) can help manage drivers and protect the community you serve. Our industry expert will speak to the power of MV+AI and why the technology is vital to maintaining a safe fleet.

Learning Objectives

  1. Demystify the current vogue terms of MV and AI.
  2. Detailed examples of how the MV/AI technology works and benefit.
  3. Takeaways of what leaders can to to affect change in safety of their fleet.


Coming to a Cab Near You...

For years manufacturers have been implementing important safety features into retail vehicles. Everything from back up cameras to blind spot detectors help today’s drivers stay safe. In this session, Ted Lee of Magellan GPS will explore ways we can implement these safety features, along with evolving technology like route optimization in telematics in the cab, to keep our drivers safe as we move forward as an industry. Ted will cover which retail vehicle safety features could be coming to tomorrow’s fleet drivers, how route optimization will influence both the interior cab and affect the back-end office, and how these evolving tools will catapult the industry into the next decade of safety.

Learning Objectives

  1. Which retail safety features are best suited to make the transition from retail vehicles to professional fleets.
  2. How route optimization works and the enhancements coming that will transform safety in the cab.
  3. Predictions for how optimization and safety features will affect drivers into 2021 and beyond.


The Top 5 Fleet Management Capabilities You Should Ask For in 2021 RFPs

At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to: Create fleet management RFPs that will adequately assess potential fleet management partners as good fits – not just now, but for the long haul, including the top 5 capabilities participants should make sure to ask for in a fleet management platform in 2021; Evaluate fleet solutions across departments – such as waste management, seasonal maintenance, and streets – so that a new partner can be selected that addresses the whole municipality’s needs vs. siloed solutions or a patchwork of platforms; and Analyze the contract(s) of their current fleet management vendor(s), so that a transition can be made as cost-effectively and painlessly as possible.

Learning Objectives

  1. Create fleet management RFPs rubrics that adequately assess potential fleet management partners as good fits for the municipality.
  2. Evaluate cross-departmental fleet solutions in order to move away from siloed solutions.
  3. Analyze contract(s) of current fleet management vendor(s), so that a transition can be made as cost-effectively and painlessly as possible.


Learning Leadership: APWA's Leadership Framework

Is Leadership an art or a science? This is a debate that’s raged across the centuries. Turns out it’s neither. Leadership is a process that occurs when shared values foster collaborative relationships that lead to collective action intended to elevate (or, create positive change) in an organization, cause, or community. How, then, do you do Leadership? It is a collection of behaviors, not innate abilities. It is what you do, not who you are, and can be learned and practiced. APWA’s leadership framework defines those behaviors into five practices and this session will dive into what those are and how to implement them into your own experience. The five practices are: 1. Model the way 2. Inspire a vision 3. Challenge the process 4. Enable others to act 5. Encourage the heart

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the behaviors that create positive change in an organization, cause, or community.
  2. Build a plan for demonstrating leadership behaviors.
  3. Mentor subordinate leaders to build leadership skills in the workforce.


How To Measure Morale

In an era of data-driven decision-making, it is easy acquire data about so many things. The entire discipline of asset management is predicated on first acquiring condition data about your organization's infrastructure assets. But what about our most important asset, the people that do the work of Public Works? How do we know what our employees think of their own workplace? How do they feel about it? Find out how to measure the morale of your workgroup with a simple survey that directly informs management of what our co-workers think and feel about the workplace. Designed around Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the survey results instruct the manager on the best next step to take to improve morale in the workgroup.

Learning Objectives

  1. Assess the morale of the workgroup with a simple and no-cost survey.
  2. Identify and quantify the intangible dimensions of workplace satisfaction.
  3. Select the most necessary and beneficial improvements to working conditions.


Emotional Intelligence and Empathy in Public Works

The staffing of Public Works is changing. As the generational divide expands throughout the industry, emotional intelligence moves beyond buzzword to a practical and necessary skill set. Emotional intelligence provides improved communication, self-awareness, conflict resolution, and empathy amongst staff and public engagement. It is becoming essential to identify and empower staff with high emotional intelligence, leveraging these individuals to train and develop agency wide. As professionals, it is important to fully commit to utilizing emotional intelligence to create a workforce capable of working inclusively together to better serve Public Works and our communities.

Learning Objectives

  1. Define emotional intelligence and empathy and describe how it impacts Public Works operations.
  2. Employ tools to identify emotional intelligence in people.
  3. Implement programs to build empathy and expand your team’s emotional development.


5 Ways Public Works Agencies are Leading Smart Communities

Public works organizations are making smart communities a reality. And they are doing this with the adoption of smart technologies and their integration with GIS. From location-enabled devices, to drones, to augmented reality, to machine learning, public works professionals are using location as the standard analytical approach to achieve new insight and improved performance. Increasingly, sensors, the internet of things and cloud computing are feeding data on the locations of people, nature, vehicles, and infrastructure. Public works departments have access to more tools and data than ever before and are leading their communities towards a more prosperous and well-run future. This session will showcase examples of organizations using Esri’s Smart Community Information System to: Optimize urban mobility; Address and respond to humans in crisis; Monitor drone traffic; Leverage artificial intelligence for infrastructure management; and Design and support a sensor-driven world.

Learning Objectives

  1. Educate public works professionals on emerging technology trends and how to apply them.
  2. Introduce industry leaders and subject-matter experts who can provide transferable techniques.
  3. Provide meaningful strategies that can be deployed within their organizations.


GIS Trends for Public Works Professionals

Today, technology is rapidly changing, and keeping pace can be difficult. Public works departments are always one of the first disciplines to embrace new technology trends. This session will provide insight and training into the areas geographic information systems (GIS) is improving mission-critical and day-to-day operations. You will walk away with practical knowledge in: Shifting to real-time operations; Leveraging drones; Integrating artificial intelligence and machine-learning; Embracing the new field mobility tools; Evolving your civic engagement; and Leading through advanced data and analytics

Learning Objectives

  1. Provide best practices that helps them understand firsthand how they can apply today’s trends and technology to their work.
  2. See how they can leverage and implement technology they already have access to.
  3. Take advantage of complimentary solutions that can be deployed today.


The New Leader Way: Leadership for the Future Workplace

Leadership is about moving people to action on a mission. At its heart, leadership is about influence. Influence is the indirect or intangible way that we move others. The problem is that how leaders create influence has permanently changed. It used to be that we could move our colleagues because of what we were. Our role in the organization, our job title, our experience, and our education among other accomplishments provided more than enough influence. It was credentials first and the person behind the credentials second. Now, due to the pandemic, due to technological change, due to wider social pressures, we are seeing the rapid acceleration of a new trend. Effective leadership is less about what we are and more about who we are. The credentials still matter, but the person behind the credentials matters more than ever. The New Leader Way focuses on the core human skills that create the most compelling leadership influence in the modern workplace. The pandemic, technology, and social pressures will continue to radically reshape our communities and our organizations. It’s time for a new leadership philosophy. This is The New Leader Way.

Learning Objectives

  1. Demystify influence by identifying the three core human skills that create the most compelling leadership influence in Covid and post-Covid workplaces.
  2. Create a personal and authentic approach to leadership in the new workplace by surfacing and evaluating our individual beliefs.
  3. Build a New Leader identity by participating in session micro activities designed to jump start personal change.


Leader Under Construction

Since the boom in the first decade of this century collapsed into the great recession, the public works industry has seen a mighty blow to its workforce and resource levels. While the recovery is underway and in full swing, a large number of capable personnel have left the industry never to return. Now more than ever the public works industry needs good leadership. I don’t mean people with lots of experience who ascend to higher positions in our organizations because it’s their turn either. I mean people who are willing to lead, no matter their position or title. Leader Under Construction examines a variety of key characteristics, skills and attributes a good leader must have or develop, relating those to the development of a construction project. Participants in Leader Under Construction progress through their leadership development from what makes for a solid leadership foundation, through the things a leader must do to form/frame themselves properly, finally moving into the finishing touches that ensure a leader stays sharp. Foundation, Forming/Framing, Finishing. Just like a building, a roadway, or a pipeline, you can’t stand the test of time if each step of the process isn’t done right. But that isn’t the end, is it. Just like a construction project, once a leader is built, they must maintain those attributes and skills if they want to continue on in peak condition. Maintenance isn’t just for pavement you know.… Attendees at this session will be challenged to create a leadership development plan, basically their personal leadership WBS and work plan. The foundation for this plan will be placed during the presentation, but it will be up to each person to form/frame and finish it on their own! Good leadership starts with self-leadership, and developing better leaders creates stronger, more productive, more profitable organizations. Become a Leader Under Construction and start your journey toward good leadership.

Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize the importance of self-leadership as the key to leading others and teams.
  2. Assess their own personal leadership attributes and values to assist in laying a solid leadership plan foundation.
  3. Develop and implement the primary components of forming a solid leadership core.


What Every Public Works Professional Needs to Know About Artificial Intelligence
The most forward-thinking organizations are making strategic investments in artificial intelligence (AI), especially machine learning, using location data as the connective thread to automate processes, improve predictive modeling, and gain operational efficiency. Public works organizations already use geographic information systems (GIS) to uncover hidden patterns, gain crucial insights, and provide the best government services for citizens. Now, the benefits of GIS can be accelerated with artificial intelligence and machine learning. This session will provide an overview of GeoAI and show examples of how public works agencies are using it to • Optimize snow and ice management • Automate data collection • Prioritize maintenance of infrastructure • Identify areas of blight or homelessness • Allocate resources based on the greatest need.

Learning Objectives

  1. Educate APWA members on emerging technology and how to apply it
  2. Introduce industry leaders and subject-matter experts who can provide transferable techniques
  3. Provide meaningful strategies that can be deployed within their organizations.


How to Develop an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan

The 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 2020 is a significant reminder to public works professionals of the importance of ensuring compliance with this important law. Embracing accessibility will prevent public entities from losing federal funding and protect them from potential access related complaints or litigation. Most importantly, it will provide an opportunity to better serve the community. In order to continue eligibility for federal funding, all public entities subject to ADA Title II must complete a Self-Evaluation. Public entities with 50+ employees are required to have a Transition Plan in place that addresses structural changes necessary for achieving program accessibility. In this presentation, attendees will gain an in-depth knowledge of both state and federal access requirements and how these overlapping laws work together. After attending this instructive session, participants will be well equipped to create an ADA compliant Transition Plan that will ensure that individuals with disabilities are not excluded from their community’s programs, services and activities.

Learning Objectives

  1. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to get started with creating an ADA Transition Plan, including the planning process and the steps needed to ensure ADA compliance.
  2. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to conquer data challenges and know how it will interface with other data systems.
  3. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to identify Transition Plan prioritization and possible solutions in removing barriers to attain compliance in a cost-effective manner.


Making Presentations to Educate and Convince Leaders about Public Works

This proposal addresses the practical applications, critical issues, emerging trends, innovative approaches, and best practices for creating/delivering presentations for public works leaders. Examples of successful presentations will be supplied and analyzed as tangible illustrations of best presentation practices. These exemplary presentations achieved their end goal and were effective at convincing leaders.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn to create informative presentations specifically meant for convincing Public Works leaders. Illustrate how to effectively, clearly, and professionally present for both large and small audiences in addition to presenting with a target goal in mind.
  2. Communicate well through presentations and improve public speaking/presentation habits. Enhance their leadership and professional development skillsets through proper education on developing presentations and communication skills.
  3. Demonstrate professional, organized, and informative presentations. Identify how to properly prepare for any public speaking or presentation event to communicate more effectively, smoothly, and confidently.

Diversifying Public Outreach for Public Works Projects – Going Beyond the Community Meeting
The City of San Mateo recently completed an update of its Bicycle Master Plan. This guiding document to envision the bicycle network for the future of the City required an extensive foray into community engagement. Staff will discuss the key factors of success in this project, including lessons learned from employing typical outreach strategies and the mid-project adjustments made to create a community outreach strategy that was innovative, inclusive, and successful comprised of an interactive mapping tool, Citywide bicycle tour, and pop-up outreach events. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to: • Identify a mix of outreach options that best suit their project needs and provide a range of demographic feedback • Explore options beyond standard community meetings to gain broad feedback and insight to best-fit a project to the goals and visions of the target audience • Achieve input from a diverse range of the community to inform project decisions and successfully broaden the sphere of influence of the decision-making process.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify a mix of outreach options that best suit their project needs and provide a range of demographic feedback.
  2. Explore options beyond standard community meetings to gain broad feedback and insight to best-fit a project to the goals and visions of the target audience.
  3. Achieve input from a diverse range of the community to inform project decisions and successfully broaden the sphere of influence of the decision-making process.

7 Steps to Communicate Clearly
People love clarity. If you confuse, you lose. It’s all about surviving and thriving…. and conserving calories. If you’re like most agencies and firms, you’re fed up with spending time and money on communications that don’t work. If you knew what to do differently, you would—but you don’t, and so you feel stuck. Meanwhile, your sales are lagging. Colleagues are confused. Your bottom line isn’t budging. And worst of all, you feel discouraged. Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be that way. In this talk, Everest Marketing Services President, Barbara Shuck —a StoryBrand Certified Guide— will share seven simple marketing principles proven to engage clients and prospects. You’ll walk away knowing how to capture your audience’s attention and compel them to respond. I’ve spent my career developing communications that help clients stand out. Imagine submitting a proposal with a clear client-focused story about how your firm is the right fit for a project. Imagine a conversation where the other person leans into what you’re saying. Imagine a presentation that reflects your professionalism and expertise, where the audience or decision-makers are intrigued by your story... and your evaluation score reflects their interest!! Imagine having something clever to say when someone asks you about your agency or business! With 25+ years working for design and construction firms, I understand the frustration of not clearly communicating your differentiators and creating “why us” and “why not them” themes from the consultant’s side of the table. I regularly speak with clients and understand how they, too, struggle with memos and meetings. And, because of almost four decades of experience in business, you can count on me to help you communicate clearly, both in writing and verbally. Attend this must-see session so you can learn 7 Steps to Communicate Clearly. Stop worrying about your communications, and get back to winning when you communicate.

Learning Objectives

  1. Share current communication challenges so the speaker will address specific needs and the learning outcome will be achieved.
  2. Design written and verbal communication so it is easy to understand, interesting, and results in audience action.
  3. Use proven practices to create effective written and verbal communications that lead to professional success.

Empower your Work Force with Technology
Providing tools and technology that empowers your work force and enables them to get the job done but provide real time reporting and tracking for asset, maintenance management and timekeeping. One large County agency has done just that with deployment of tools to keep their maintenance work force in the field using mobile devices that let them inspect, repair and track work done on the County's valuable assets and feed real data back to supervisory and management staff as well as time tracking and financial data. Tools also include mapping and GPS to update assets and maintenance records easily as well as provide important asset data in the hands of maintenance personnel.

Learning Objectives

  1. Measure and demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of using mobile compatible software for asset, work, and time reporting management.
  2. Conceptualize how an asset and work management system with mobile technologies can link to multiple systems such as an agency’s payroll and accounting solutions which reduces redundant data entry.
  3. Demonstrate how mobile applications can be used in maintenance and understand how to select the appropriate mobile application for their agency’s use.

City of Phoenix Material Recovery Facility Upgrade to Meet Changing Market Demands
As many cities across the country have struggled to meet changing recycling market conditions, the City of Phoenix found a solution to this issue through a public and private partnership. This partnership was established to assist with the upgrade of the North Gateway MRF to ensure that the city was able to meet new industry standards, which includes more stringent commodity specifications (residual requirements) and change in inbound material composition. The North Gateway Transfer Station (NGTS) processes recyclables from north Phoenix, the city of Peoria and the city of Prescott. The $4.5 million upgrade to this facility was funded by a $3 million no-interest loan from the Closed Loop Fund, $1 million from the City of Peoria, and the remainder was covered by city funds. Upgrades to NGTS began in September 2019 and concluded in December 2019. Equipment upgrades at the facility included two new anti-wrap disk screens, two new optical sorters, a drum feeder, expansion to the pre-sort line, critical infrastructure upgrades to the electrical and fire life safety systems, and a ballistic separator. Benefits from the upgrade include a substantial improvement of the capture of glass, paper, PET, OCC and aluminum; the ability to achieve tighter material quality specifications; 50% improvement in MRF throughput (processing speed); increased inbound processing capacity due to increased throughput; reduced residuals sent to landfill; the ability to temporarily process the City of Scottsdale’s recyclables since their MRF burned down in 2019; the ability to temporarily shoulder recyclables from 27th Avenue transfer station as this MRF underwent baler replacements over two weeks; and the ability to process more fiber products due to the increased demand of cardboard and paper during the COVID shutdown. None of these benefits would have been possible without the upgrades.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will learn how MRF solutions implemented by the city of Phoenix improved capture and reduced contamination.
  2. Participants will evaluate challenges at their own MRF to understand how they can implement similar solutions.
  3. Project Management: Working with partners to come up with innovative solutions.

Measuring and Addressing Recycling Contamination Issues
As the waste stream continues to evolve, solid waste managers across the U.S. are examining different metrics to more accurately measure recycling program performance, and identify areas for improvement. One metric that continues to gain appeal is the recycling capture rate, which measures the percentage of eligible recyclables recovered through the recycling program. Capture rate studies can be coupled with educational intervention to do pre- and post-program measurement. This presentation will touch on study results including a 2019 study for the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO), an authority serving the 1.3 million residents within the 40+ jurisdictions in Franklin County, including the City of Columbus. Of particular interest, this study is the first known to the presenters to perform a side-by-side comparison of two different methods to measure capture rates. A trending educational intervention method is to conduct multiple passbys of recycling setouts and assessing the cleanliness of the material and leaving specific feedback for the resident. This cart (or bin) monitoring approach is proving beneficial in swinging route loads that were previously being rejected to be accepted. This saves the municipality costs and keeps materials in the correct direction for processing rather than rejected and sent to landfills. Case studies and approaches will be discussed and audience participation encouraged to share their experiences and current challenges.

Learning Objectives

  1. Conceptualize and conduct a recycling capture rate study to measure the amount of recyclable material being discarded from a residence that is being recovered through the recycling program.
  2. Plan and implement an educational cart (or bin) monitoring program to provide direct feedback to recycling participants for the improved quality of materials.
  3. Lead staff in planning recycling improvement programs to measure capture rates and conduct educational activities to improve the quality of recyclable setouts.

Food Scraps, Yard Trim and Horse Manure - Organics Resources in Howard County, MD
The Howard County, MD Compost Facility is a premier example of how municipalities can provide cost-effective composting of food waste, yard trim, and manure. This case study illustrates available composting technology and key facility design considerations for a successful project. The project economics show how waste diversion offsets the capital and operational costs, making the business case for waste diversion and organics management.

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss the benefits of composting.
  2. Evaluate whether compost infrastructure development may be a fit for your facility/jurisdiction.
  3. Provide practical insights for materials managers currently operating composting programs.

Going Virtual with Smart Cities: Post-Pandemic Futureproofing and Resiliency
Post-pandemic, cities are struggling to operate virtually and the benefits of Smart City technology are even more apparent – and the need to fully virtualize critical functions is upon us Some are investing into critical infrastructure – towers, servers, fiber, enabling communications, communities to stay connected The need to bridge the digital divide, expand 5G and develop applications to enable the economy, enhance virtual, mobile networks - and create new approaches to resiliency Adding new layers of redundancy and most importantly – re-configuring public works systems to operate “virtually everything – virtually.”

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand how to: a. Enhance resiliency b. Add redundancy c. Operate “virtually EVERYTHING – VIRTUALLY as they develop a “NEW ABNORMAL” and - d. Create stable, future-proofed, resilient, critical “intelligent infrastructure” and “smart cities”.
  2. Understand why in a post-pandemic world, teleworking, virtualizing public agency services and the demand for improved telecommunications, 5G and broadband is skyrocketing.
  3. Discover how technology is changing the playing field for physical infrastructure. Virtual, resilient city halls, emerging technologies, smart cities, the Internet of Things (IoT) and more are coming.

Measuring and Reducing the Carbon Emissions and Air Pollution Emissions of a large Public Works Fleet
In 2020 the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services launched a project to measure and reduce the carbon emissions and air pollution emissions of a large and diverse fleet of more than 1200 vehicles, representing an annual fuel burn of 1.25M gallons of fossil fuels. The presentation will take you on an innovation journey that begins with using industry-standard modeling tools, continues with piloting operational changes, and concludes with a long term fleet procurement strategy.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn how to use off-the-shelf modeling tools to measure the carbon emissions and criterial pollution emissions of a large fleet with diverse equipment and fuel types.
  2. Learn how to develop initial pilot projects to reduce emssions of the existing fleet by optimizing operations for emissions efficiency.
  3. Learn how to develop a long term fleet procurement/replacement strategy focused on cost effective methods to reduce emissions.

Changing Landscapes – the Future of Energy and Cities
Whether they’re adding capacity to wastewater treatment plants or building a new fire station, cities and towns across the country have typically made infrastructure decisions by asking themselves one question: What’s the best value? But looking primarily at tangible needs and results in the procurement decision-making process largely excludes important conversations about current and future trends, innovative solutions and more. As climate change and severe weather increasingly impacts day-to-day operations – and as residents and businesses show a growing interest in environmental stewardship – public works agencies are quickly realizing that seemingly intangible needs such as sustainability and resiliency are playing a much more critical role in the success of their services, operations and future. And that realization is changing the way they need to approach procurement decisions, projects and day-to-day operations. Even so, making a business case for resiliency and sustainability isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. There’s rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. It requires a true understanding of not only the life cycle and cost of energy assets but also the consequences of not implementing these reliable, sustainable infrastructure projects. It requires educating leaders about current and future trends, new technologies and innovative solutions while also getting buy-in from community members. And, ultimately, it requires a complete shift from a long-standing decision-making process to one that helps improve the quality, reliability and sustainability of public works services.

Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize the role that sustainability and resiliency plays on a project’s success.
  2. Educate leadership about resiliency and sustainability options and how it impacts their overall services.
  3. Develop a business case for resiliency and sustainability.

Codifying Agency Environmental Sustainability
Public agencies are responding to internal and external desires to implement environmentally sustainable solutions on public infrastructure projects. They adopt guidelines presented in rating systems like Envision, LEED, or many other offerings that don’t necessarily provide consistent standards across projects. Unfortunately, this leaves them with varying levels of sustainable targets or unclear paths to comparable results. This session will examine how agencies can develop and set minimal sustainable strategies to put forth requests for qualifications and proposals that lead to adaptable, realistic, and specific targets. The final effort is to ensure agencies have transparent, efficient, and proper expectations for the public and community developers. Attendees will learn how to select the sustainable goals they’d like to implement, who to consider as stakeholders in the selection process, and how to set these goals as realistic and consistent targets. The speaker will cover both real and hypothetical examples gained through facilitation and strategic projects that helped agencies adopt and codify goals that reach beyond standard business practices. The audience will be called upon to share departmental or agency success or failure stories, infrastructure goals, and discuss how to encapsulate and adopt realistic standards.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn and understand how setting goals above generally recognized building codes result in consistent and more sustainable development.
  2. Recognize the success and failures of peers in setting new policies and procedures for sustainable development.
  3. Be prepared to lead and facilitate goal-setting sessions within their agencies, so they can identify the proper stakeholders, and set realistic standards.

Innovative Winter Ops Materials Inventory Management
This presentation provides new workflows and examples of how DOTs, local and State-level government are taking control of their winter operations material consumption before, during and after the season. Ideas include: real-time inventory management, storm reporting, safe loading, multi-depot stockpile management and more.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand tools to track and monitor material stockpiles.
  2. Use technology to monitor consumption and distribution of deicing agents.
  3. Report on material consumption per snow event.

Breaking the Ice: Approaching Innovation Within Your Snow Operations
Broomfield, Colorado has an extensive snow and ice control program, covering more than 260 centerline miles. Public Works partnered with an internal group, the Innovation Ecosystem (IE), to improve the snow and ice management program. The IE Innovators and Change Makers are specially trained in the practice of Lean Process and Change Management. A cross-divisional team of snowfighters was selected. Fighting snow was viewed by staff as a Streets Division operation, even though several operators from Utilities and Parks Divisions were needed. Representation from each Division was critical for inclusion of all challenges and perspectives. The operators selected were not supervisors in the snow program to limit the filtering of communication between the drivers and the leaders of the project. Next, the team learned about each other and managing change. They were introduced to concepts such as constructive dissonance and creative abrasion. These concepts, combined with a greater understanding of their fellow operators, allowed them to clearly identify the challenges they had been experiencing. The team developed solutions to implement before the next snow season began. New snowshift schedules to provide desired certainty and reliability to the snowfighters and division managers, formalized training schedules shared with all drivers, and formalized and expanded communication paths were identified. Since implementing the changes, the morale of the snow fighting team has increased. The operators feel less fatigue throughout the season. Fleet Services has seen a reduction in repairs as a result of the training. The increased communication has allowed other improvements to occur based on driver discussions and feedback. The ecosystem of innovation allowed staff to collaborate and implement changes to the snow and ice program that improve the experience for the snowfighters and the community. The entire process took less than six months with available resources.

Learning Objectives

  1. Create a cross-discipline, collaborative team to evaluate operations and areas of improvement.
  2. Establish an environment for teams to constructively put forth conflicting ideas that will create resilient solutions.
  3. Facilitate successful implementation of team-led solutions to the larger organization.

Quantifying Protection - How to Make the Case for Increased Cycling Protection with Data Driven Analysis
In many American cities today, we talk about encouraging bicycling and making it safer while at the same time we continue to construct unprotected bicycle facilities which the typical user does not feel encouraged to ride and most bicyclists do not feel safe or comfortable riding in. Constructing unprotected bicycling facilities falls short of helping agencies achieve many of their goals including to reduce GHG, improve public health, increase alternative mode shares, and enhance bicycle safety. Often, unprotected bicycle facilities are selected during an alternatives analysis due to their significantly lower cost compared to protected facilities and the lack of comparable differences between the two types of facilities. Our approach to addressing this issue focuses on identifying the potential differences in bicycle ridership on a facility specific and network-wide basis between protected and unprotected facility types. First, we analyze the difference in potential ridership impacts between protected and unprotected bicycle facilities based on roadway characteristics and area demographics using a predictive statistical model. Second, applying a grid-theory based analysis, we analyze the network wide impact of creating new connections within the overall network. This type of analysis leverages data from around the country to give decision makers, the public, and engineers & planners an easily replicable way to quantify the potential ridership and GHG benefits of protected facilities.

Learning Objectives

  1. Leverage available local and national data to draw insights into bicycling demand and mode shift potential.
  2. Inform bicycle planning efforts by identifying the most beneficial bicycle projects by quantifying the bicycle ridership difference between facility types and locations within any community.
  3. Achieve agency mode share, public health, and environmental goals more directly by prioritizing bicycle projects for funding based on which will get the most people out of their cars and onto bikes.

Leveraging “Smart” Technology to Maximize Use of Public Parking in Historic District
The City of Westerville, Ohio was settled in 1809 and founded in 1858. Although now one of the largest suburban communities to Columbus, Westerville began with its own downtown, known as “Uptown,” located a block from then-Otterbein College. Uptown Westerville was the site of the Anti-Saloon League, an organization that established their headquarters in town to chart the course toward Prohibition. Uptown Westerville is now a historic district with charming shopping, entertainment and retail. The demand for public parking to reach these destinations has increased steadily over the years. Major events, like Westerville’s 4th Fridays, bring thousands of visitors to the district to explore the old-generation downtown that promises new-generation fun and features. Residents, merchants and visitors adopted the idea that parking was scarce, primarily at the storefront entry. Parking counts and walk-to-shop sites were less than persuasive. Ultimately, City staff recommended a technology solution to study and evaluate the supply and demand realities of public parking in the district. The Uptown Smart Parking pilot uses technology by installing over 350 sensor “pucks” in four (4) Uptown lots. The “pucks” collect data on lot usage and allow real time space availability to be shared with users of a smartphone app. Along with a robust signage program, the data is the process of mass collection to inform parking requirements as the district continues to thrive, and to grow. Panelists will demonstrate a live parking simulation from actual Westerville lots, while discussing the process of gaining buy-in from administrators, elected officials, merchants and the public on this program. The accompanying mobile app will be demonstrated in real-time, along with discussion of its development and data-capture opportunities. Finally, panelists will discuss how the City intends to use the data in capital planning processes, as well as the intent to deliver outcomes to the public.

Learning Objectives

  1. Investigate the use of smart parking programs with emphasis on their application in historic commercial districts.
  2. Analyze and use parking data to inform long-range infrastructure planning, including special comprehensive plans for modern mobility.
  3. Navigate special issues related to pairing technology in protected historic districts.

Reality Capture - Surveying Tactics
This presentation will explain what Reality Capture is and demonstrate various strategies and uses for it on different engineering projects. Capturing existing conditions can be a challenge. Sometimes traditional field measuring is the correct application for what is needed. However, this method is time-consuming and often requires additional trips back to the project site, which is not cost-effective. The benefits of Reality Capture include efficiency, economy, quality, and safety advantages. Tools covered in this presentation include high definition 3D laser scanners, multi-stations with scanning capabilities, mobile LiDAR, UAV, and structured light technology. These tools can be implemented on such applications as transportation-related projects, volume calculations, irregular surface feature delineation, as-built locations, MEP mapping, and structural failures. The presentation will focus on the various reality capture tools and methods, the advantages and limitations of each, and deliverable options. We will also look at some sample project datasets. The goal is to help participants better understand these technologies and their capabilities and see applications in their own projects.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the pros and cons of various reality capture technology.
  2. List some practical applications of reality capture and conceptualize what deliverable format may be most useful for a particular project.
  3. Identify applications in their own agencies where reality capture technology could be beneficial.

Exchange Federal Funds and Stretch Your Transportation Dollars
One of the highest risks to the Federal Highway Administration and state departments of transportation is expenditure of federal transportation funds by local governments, due to the complex requirements for such expenditures and the lack of experience of local government with these requirements. Failure to properly follow all federal requirements for implementation of federally funded transportation projects can result in withdrawal of all federal funds for the project and make the state department of transportation, and consequently the local government, liable for refunding expended federal dollars and funding the entire project with state or local dollars. The Federal Funds Exchange process can allow local governments to follow project delivery processes with which they are familiar and alleviate most of the risks involved with expenditure of federal transportation funds for all levels of government involved. Thirteen states currently practice Federal Funds Exchange. Many more states and local governments could benefit from this practice. This session seeks to familiarize more local governments with the practice (some local governments may not even know their state allows Federal Funds Exchange) and provide them with knowledge to be able to discuss the practice with their state departments of transportation to determine if it would be beneficial to their state and local transportation funding programs.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain what the Federal Funds Exchange process is and some of its benefits to local, state, and federal transportation agencies.
  2. Evaluate if the Federal Funds Exchange process would benefit local and state transportation agencies within their state.
  3. Initiate implementation of a Federal Funds Exchange process within their states.

The Great Intersection Debate: Traffic Signals vs. Roundabouts
In this Point-Counter-Point debate-style presentation, two traffic operations engineers will explain why roundabouts are a leading design solution versus why traffic signals rule the intersection control world! Each side will present data on traffic volumes, traffic flow, safety, operations and maintenance, expandability and affordability for roundabouts in series versus intelligent traffic signal corridors. They report, you decide, in the Great Intersection Debate of PWX 2021.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify which design option works best for your needs.
  2. Learn about design strategies to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.
  3. Understand how to optimize efficiencies at signalized or roundabout intersections.

Streamlining Efficiencies with Compacted Concrete Pavement
Compacted concrete pavement is an improved version of roller compacted pavement, allowing for drastically expedited project completion time. Hear about advantages and lessons learned from the first project completed in Missouri with this pavement type.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain what compacted concrete pavement is.
  2. Understand potential benefits for your project.
  3. Learn implementation tips that could improve your results.

5G/Small Cell Basics for Public Works Officials - The “3 R’s” - Radiation, Revenue Opportunities and Repurposing Your Infrastructure - Smarter!
To meet the demand for 5G telecommunications companies will be erecting hundreds of thousands of small cell towers – often TWO towers per streetlight in most communities - Most public Works agencies will do nothing, others have learned how to make MILLIONS from the opportunity and transform their agencies - using smart technologies Now, post-Corona-Virus, teleworking and the demand for 5G/broadband is skyrocketing. Installing hundreds of new towers in each city will create both incredible opportunities and unprecedented problems for Public Works officials. Many agencies are adopting innovative strategies to not only manage this “tsunami”, but are even partnering with the telecommunications companies, municipalizing, and re-purposing their street lights and traffic signal systems and charging for each of the hundreds – or thousands - of new towers, creating millions in new sources of revenue. Other cities have been even more visionary. They are “flipping” their annual streetlight systems from “must pays” (liabilities) to “cash cows”, or revenue streams. This session will address these competing priorities: • Accelerating 5G: post-pandemic • Creating resilient, critical “intelligent infrastructure” • Ensuring healthy RF radiation levels • Generating millions in new revenue • Installing/leasing excess city fiber optics for cash • Leasing streetlights as transmitter sites • Improving traffic signal coordination • Setting aesthetic Standards • Futureproofing and – Smart City Strategic planning.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify merging and EMERGING technologies and discover how to repurpose and future-proof your utility systems and transportation infrastructure, revise your permitting programs and practices and combat the increased load for permits, plan reviews, street cuts, and inspections.
  2. Learn how to generate MILLIONS in new revenues and create ultra-fast municipal broadband networks by re-purposing traffic signals, street lighting and position your agency today for the inevitable demand for these future, smart city Public Works technologies.
  3. Learn from actual case studies from communities like yours and what they have done to combat the wave of millions of small cell towers, street cuts, radio frequency radiation problems and creatively apply aesthetic controls.

Acquiring Right of Way in the Age of COVID-19
Communication challenges are plentiful during the pandemic and greatly impact the personal connections required with successful landowner negotiation. This presentation provides techniques for building trust and credibility whether you are communicating virtually or socially distanced and wearing a mask. Body language, empathy, and tone all play an important role in clearly conveying your message. Learn how a few important adjustments in your communication style can make a big impact.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn techniques for establishing trust in virtual environments.
  2. Understand the importance of empathizing with the unique challenges facing each landowner.
  3. Social distanced communication skills.

Subsurface Standards - Get Ready for the Future Now
ASCE’s new Standard Guideline for Recording and Exchanging Utility Infrastructure Data (the utility “as-installed” standard) is about to roll out. The standard provides a framework for improving management practices of public rights-of-way (ROW), especially considering changes in our midst with regard to electric and autonomous vehicles becoming more prevalent, 5G small cell installation and smart city/road initiatives. These technologies will be vying for space in an already congested and mostly unknown underground landscape. Currently, the lack of management of our ROWs underground has turned it into a confusing mess. Records are often non-existent or based on relative positions to features no longer present. There is tremendous potential to improve the efficiency and usage of our roadways for the future that is rapidly approaching. The challenges in maximizing the use of ROW for smart roadways and increased infrastructure needs are complex and dynamic. Critical to addressing one challenge is it to understand and manage the facilities that are currently underground and new installations that are taking place every day. Maximizing the value of mapping what’s below the ROW will only come through the use of standards and best practices within organizations that install utilities in the ROW and agencies that manage the ROW. Given the right policies, standards, collaboration and management practices, today’s technologies can enable us to easily create a real-time 3D picture of buried utilities. During our presentation we will discuss the new standard, new technologies for collecting utility location data and provide a live example of what the Montana and Texas DOTs are doing to start to proactively manage their public ROW; especially the utility infrastructure within their ROW.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the challenges posed by infrastructure needed to develop smart cities and roadways.
  2. Identify and relate to the current state of utility data management practices and impacts.
  3. Formulate and identify the value of managing subsurface utility data according to a national standard and how the standard can be used for proposal language.

Connectivity Cooperation: Telecom Partners & Land Rights
Advancements in telecom service can make city governments more efficient in responding to their citizens’ needs and enrich the lives of its residents. But the expansion of fiber services can also impact your city’s utility poles in ways you did not realize. Learn how to effectively work with telecom partners while protecting your community’s utilities and landowner rights. Discussion includes considerations for city-owned utility poles versus leased, and the critical importance of updating easement documentation to include fiber.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn how telecom partnerships can affect your city’s utility poles.
  2. Establish procedures to protect landowners and ensure fiber is included in easements.
  3. Establish processes in permitting to ensure installation follows guidelines for now and in the future.

Digital Transformation: Embracing Technology for Right of Way Projects
Rapid digital adoption driven by the pandemic has altered the traditional methods for engaging landowners and completing projects. This presentation addresses the challenges and benefits affecting real estate and land departments that formerly relied on in-person transactions. It includes suggestions for working with virtual open houses, electronic notary, online title work and virtual negotiation.

Learning Objectives

  1. Using digital tools to enhance landowner engagement and build trust.
  2. Leverage technology for project cost savings, efficiency, and improved performance.
  3. Learn about the digital initiatives that could remain post-pandemic.

Stormwater Summit: Streamlining Stormwater Asset Management with RFID
Efficient stormwater asset management is crucial to public safety as well as meeting regulatory compliance, but the cost and effort of conducting field inspections and collecting field data is an ongoing challenge for municipalities. Radio frequency Identification (RFID) technology is rapidly becoming the solution to bridging the gaps in field data collection workflows. Adam Schleicher, Director of Public Services for the City of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin will discuss their deployment of RFID marking for stormwater assets in combination with mobile data collection. This method reduces the time, cost and errors in field data inspections and automatically creates an audit trail for regulatory compliance. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to: • Assess the efficiency of using RFID enabled technology to enhance utility locating and management • Employ technology to streamline field inspections of critical above- and underground assets, from identifying assets within the ROW to managing storm water assets • Improve inspection routines and manage storm water asset data more accurately and efficiently.

Learning Objectives

  1. Assess the efficiency of using RFID enabled technology to enhance utility locating and management.
  2. Employ technology to streamline field inspections of critical above- and underground assets, from identifying assets within the ROW to managing storm water assets.
  3. Improve inspection routines and manage storm water asset data more accurately and efficiently.

Stormwater Summit: Stormwater Master Planning to Combat Urban Flooding
The Niles case study will present the Niles Stormwater Master Planning and Capital Improvements. The Village of Niles is a suburb located on the Northwest side of the Chicago that was developed during the baby boom (1950's-60's). Historically development did not allow for overland flood routes and did not conceive of the amount of impervious cover that would be built. As a result, Niles suffers from urban flooding. Urban flooding is frequent flooding associated with undersized sewers and poor drainage located outside the FEMA flood plain. After massive flooding in 2008, the Village formed a stormwater commission to address flooding in town. This program included recommendations in four areas: capital improvements, regulatory program, maintenance and monitoring and flood control assistance. In 2017 after the successful completion of Tier I improvements, the Village initiated a stormwater master plan update that was completed in 2018. The update was needed to include the results of past projects, add analyses of potential projects, and revisit the project prioritization for the future. The presentation will provide an overview of the process used to prepare the 2018 Master Plan update. An overview of the successful aspects and lessons learned from programs and projects implemented during the first five years of program implementation will be shared. The presentation will also discuss how funding was secured for the projects using grants, sales tax, and low interest loans. Finally Village staff will also discuss how green infrastructure has been incorporated in various locations throughout the town. Director Braun will relate how the stormwater plan incorporated operation and maintenance considerations. A brief discussion will be included on how maintenance management software was used to calibrate and verify the results of the modeling. Finally the results of a trend analysis related to stormwater complaints in the database will be presented.

Learning Objectives

  1. List the characteristics and most common solutions to urban flooding.
  2. Conceptualize the role of a public committee in addressing stormwater issues.
  3. Explain the value derived from a Master Plan update that incorporates new system data, newly discovered problems areas, and emerging or changing project opportunities.

Stormwater Summit: Resiliency Case Study: 7 years of Infiltration Requirements for Site Plans

In August of 2014, Washtenaw County Water Resources (WCWRC) adopted new rules requiring infiltration of the 90th percentile design storm for all new site plans. The rules permit an alternative of traditional detention storage at 120% of calculated 100-year storm capacity only if WCWRC determines that soils testing was adequate and found inadequate infiltration capacity. In 7 years, nearly 250 sites have been reviewed, and this presentation will describe the review requirements, stakeholder engagement process, outcomes, and win-win benefits to water resources AND the development community. Nearly 25% of sites have been able to eliminate detention and infiltrate the entire 100-year storm. By definition, using the 90th percentile storm (1" in the study area) returns 90% of annual rainfall into the groundwater, a tremendous benefit to urban and suburban rivers, lakes and streams. Third party information will be provided to demonstrate that using the 90th percentile storm also provides more reliable TSS treatment than detention or mechanical separators. In most urbanized areas, communities require stormwater management with one major goal being reduction of impacts due to development. It is well known that detention basins can simulate pre-development runoff rates but they do not simulate pre-development conditions in five (5) areas. First, detention does not address added volume and thus contribute to downstream water quantity issues. Second, reduced infiltration from natural conditions is beneficial to water quality through groundwater recharge for cooler, stream inputs, steadier base flow, and TSS removal. Third, detention basins have fixed capacity and therefore very limited resiliency. Fourth, detention basins sized for 100-year storms tend to require 5-10% of the contributing land area. Fifth, think about every basin you have seen at an apartment complex and how many geese and 'tootsie rolls' you see surrounding them. Ewww.

Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees will be able to communicate potential benefits of infiltration requirements to the development community.
  2. Attendees will have a basis to analyze and determine benefits to local water resources of added resiliency along with the challenges of implementation.
  3. Attendees interested in implementation will be able to apply key principles and suggestions and access an example regulation, to adjust to their community situation.

Stormwater Summit: Flood Risk Mitigation Takes Time, Money, and Cooperation: A Story of Persistence
This presentation will cover the highs and lows, stops and starts of a real-world flood mitigation project in Lincoln, Nebraska. This project, while extremely beneficial and cost effective, hit seemingly every major roadblock possible. With perseverance, strong local leadership, and a little bit of luck, the project was recently constructed. This presentation will outline the project’s path through deficiency identification, alternative development, identification of funding, public involvement/education, final design, property acquisition and ultimately construction. This flood mitigation project addresses significant flooding that caused structural damage to dozens of commercial and industrial properties. The presentation will review the project development during preliminary drainage analysis (2010), detailed analysis, project development and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program application (2013), final design and updated 2-D Hydraulic modeling and right-of-way acquisition (2016-2017) and construction (2017-2020). Throughout the life of the project, many potentially project-ending road blocks have been encountered such as: lack of funding in 2013 when original FEMA grant application was submitted, a highly politicized project, a challenging project site with limited room for construction, private property encroachment on City easements, private property access, truncated design schedule for complicated project, USACE permitting challenges, private/public utility and street conflicts, and a FEMA funding delay due to hurricanes in 2017. This presentation will trace the successes and setbacks of this particular flood mitigation project, and will demonstrate the value in persevering through challenges. The total project is currently estimated at $5.35 million and provides an estimated benefit of $10.8 million for a Benefit Cost Ratio of 1.99.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify potential funding opportunities for projects related to flood risk reduction.
  2. Identify and apply lessons learned for a project that had a long lead time and a short implementation schedule.
  3. Identify best practices related to project development and setup to make FEMA grant funded projects more feasible with less headaches.

Human Intelligence + Machine Learning: How Continuous System Visibility Enables Automation and Operational Response for Water Utilities
There are 240,000 water main breaks that occur across the country every year that leak 2.1 trillion gallons, costing billions of dollars in lost water. Today, most water distribution pipelines are old, buried, hidden from view and not monitored at all. This leads to a lack of visibility along the miles of pipe that limits our ability to find leaks, prevent water loss and understand the true operational nature of our systems. New sensor and software technologies can give utility operators continuous visibility for automation and fast operational response resulting in reduced water loss, fewer main breaks, regulatory compliance and optimized asset health. Many utilities, however, do not have the financial, technical or analytical resources needed to successfully deploy these remote monitoring assets. Discover how municipal water utilities are now leveraging new business models to gain access to the technologies, data and practical insights without having to allocate capital budget, configure IT assets, or hire staff for monitoring and analytics.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn about various technology options for leak detection.
  2. Discuss how 3rd party remote monitoring enables high levels of system insight and operational efficiency.
  3. Evaluate the role of public-private partnerships in enabling the adoption of new technologies.

City of Joliet Alternative Water Source Program
The City of Joliet, the 3rd largest city in Illinois, serves a population of approximately 150,000. Joliet’s existing water source, the deep groundwater aquifer, will not be able to meet the City’s maximum day water demands (estimated at 30 MGD) by the year 2030. Therefore, Joliet went in search of a cost‐effective, sustainable alternative water source for the City of Joliet and, possibly, the region. Joliet began Alternate Water Supply Source Study in July 2018, beginning with fourteen water source alternatives covering the full range of possible water sources from groundwater, rivers and Lake Michigan. The first phase was completed in January 2019 and recommended four alternatives for further evaluation in 2019 as feasible alternative water sources. In January 2020, the City Council selected Lake Michigan Water as the City’s new water source. The City Council elected to move forward with further evaluation of two Lake Michigan alternatives in 2020:  Lake Michigan - Chicago Department of Water Management: Purchasing treated Lake Michigan Water from the Chicago and building the necessary infrastructure to pump and transmit treated drinking water approximately 30 miles from Chicago to Joliet ($550 million construction cost for Joliet alone).  Lake Michigan - New Indiana Intake: Constructing a new raw water intake in Lake Michigan along the Indiana shoreline as well as pumping facilities and transmission mains to bring raw water approximately 47 miles to the Joliet for surface water treatment and distribution ($900 million construction cost for Joliet alone). The 2020 Evaluation is focused on refining the two alternatives and providing updated costs to the City Council to allow for a final decision on the alternative water source by the end of 2020, after which the program will proceed into Preliminary Design in 2021. Final Design is anticipated between 2022 and 2024, with a 5-year construction timeframe anticipated between 2025 and 2030.

Learning Objectives

  1. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to educate others on the situation communities are facing who rely on the deep sandstone aquifers as their existing drinking water source.
  2. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to recognize the need for thorough, comprehensive planning when faced with the need for a new, sustainable (100+ year) water source.
  3. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to implement a water system improvement program in their community.

A Basic Framework for Selection of Trenchless Renewal Technologies for Pressurized Pipelines
Pipelines that carry flows under pressure represent a special set of challenges for water and sewer rehabilitation. Historically, the most common renewal technology employed has been to replace the pipeline using open cut construction. Part of the reason for that choice has been a lack of trenchless rehabilitation technologies appropriate for pressurized pipelines. A lack of investment in the aging pressure pipe infrastructure, coupled with growing congestion both above and below ground, has accelerated development in the trenchless rehabilitation industry. With an ever-increasing number of proven trenchless rehabilitation technologies, how does a utility owner or engineer determine the appropriate technology to specify? This presentation will briefly review many of the common and emerging trenchless technologies for pressurized pipeline rehabilitation and will provide a basic framework that can be utilized to evaluate and select an appropriate solution. We’ll review the concept of structural classification of pressure pipe linings as defined in AWWA publications, which is a critical component to selecting an appropriate trenchless technology. We’ll also review several case studies that demonstrate how the basic framework was followed to select a trenchless technology solution.

Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize that renewal of pressure pipes utilizing trenchless technology is not a “one size fits all” approach.
  2. Differentiate the various pressure pipe trenchless technologies by their structural classification.
  3. Design and execute a basic framework for comparative analysis and selection of appropriate trenchless technologies for pressurized pipelines.

How to Handle Wastewater Crisis Communications in The Instant Information Age
A wastewater utility's customers are receiving information that they believe is important without having to ask for it; they're sent notifications dozens of times a day. As a result, expectations have risen with service providers, especially those people pay every month, every other month, or every quarter to ensure their quality of life. When emergencies occur, especially those that make news throughout an entire area like with a significant sewer spill, a utility must quickly act to assure the public that the crisis is being responded to and that the potential for any long-term impacts are being mitigated. What many people don't realize is that successful crisis communications responses are actually rooted in a utility's efforts to proactive inform their customers about their services before an emergency occurs. Regular releases of information to the press, the public, and key stakeholders about the good work you do 24/7/365 or, say, communications that provide helpful tips to say, keep FOG out of a customer's pipes, goes a long way to building trust and respect for the utility's work. And that trust is important, because it will be called upon in a crisis. The discussion show how to handle internal and external communications during a wastewater crisis, in this case, a 500,000-gallon SSO alongside a commuter route during rush hour that flowed into a creek known for its wildlife and boating activity. WaterPIO will show the tactics used to help diffuse the initial negative reaction and turn the actions of the utility into a positive, not only by showcasing the response but continuing to provide information after the immediate crisis has passed. Utilities can actually IMPROVE their standing with the public after a major SSO by regularly providing information about the improvement of the waterway involved day, after day, after day.

Learning Objectives

  1. The presentation will provide practical information and detail just how successful proactive communications efforts - before a spill occurs - benefits a wastewater operation's crisis communications work.
  2. Attendees will learn how to use press updates, interviews, stakeholder briefings, and social media photos, videos, posts, and threads to keep everyone informed, even with limited staff. We'll show how that can turns negative spills about stories into positive outcomes.
  3. Attendees will shown the creation and implementation of a wastewater crisis communications plan, with a focus on how to handle all of the moving parts during the initial chaos where responses can succeed or fail.

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Thank You to Our Sponsors

A sponsorship opportunity at PWX 2021 is an excellent and affordable way to solidify your image as an industry leader and elevate attendees' experience.





















































































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Thank You to Our Sponsors

A sponsorship opportunity at PWX 2021 is an excellent and affordable way to solidify your image as an industry leader and elevate attendees' experience.





















































































Thank You to Our Media Sponsors