Chapter Works 

An electronic publication of the 
Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Public Works  Association



 June 2020
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2020-2021
OFFICERS/DIRECTORS
 
President
Phillip J. Koetter, P.E.
Operations Management Administrator 
Department of Public Works
City of Virginia Beach, Virginia  

 
President-Elect
Scott A. Smith, P.E., L.S.
Senior Civil Engineer
City of Hampton, Virginia
 
Immediate Past-President
Don Cole 
Vice President 
Brown and Caldwell  
Virginia Beach, Virginia 
Steven J. Yob, P.E. 
County Eng/Director PW 
Henrico County, Virginia
 
Vice-President
Harold Caples
Asst. State Construction Engineer
Virginia Department of Transportation 
Richmond, Virginia
 
Secretary
Amy Linderman, Engineer III
Fairfax County Park Authority
Fairfax County, Virginia
 
Treasurer
Fred Whitley, P.E.
Senior Project Manager,  AECOM
Newport News, Virginia

Chapter Delegate
Judith L. Hines 
Assistant Director of Public Works 
City of Newport News, Virginia
 
Historian
Dawn V. Odom
Retired
Suffolk, Virginia
 
Directors
David Bradshaw 
Principal
Clark Nexsen

Jennifer Caples
Marketing & Business Development 
Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP
Richmond, Virginia

Sherry B. Earley, P.E. 
Senior Project Manager - Transportation 
Clark Nexsen 
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Gaynelle L. Hart
Director of Public Works
City of Lynchburg, Virginia

Mark Jamison, PE
Transportation Division Manager 
City of Roanoke, Virginia

Ryn Kennedy
Stormwater Facility Specialist
Henrico County, V irginia

Joe Kroboth, III, P.E., L.S., PWLF
Director, Transp. and Cap. Infrastructure
Loudoun County, Virginia

James W. Long, III, P.E., DBIA 
Project Manager, Transportation 
Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Kelly Mattingly, LEED-AP, CRM 
Director of Public Works
Town of Blacksburg, Virginia

Denise Nelson 
Environmental Engineer
The Berkley Group

Juan Reyes
Assistant Director of Public Works
Fairfax Co unty, VA
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President's Corner
By Phillip Koetter,  Operations Engineer, 
City of Virginia Beach

To no one's surprise, this past year has been a difficult one for me and all our organizations. We have been thrown curves that we never expected and have faced tragedies and disappointments that made us ask questions that we will likely never find answers to. We have had to sail uncharted waters and expect the unexpected.

Having said that, I am excited. Why? Because all of you who make up APWA have met those challenges and are still standing - and flourishing. As we like to say in our city: "Public Works keeps our city running." I know that to be true for each of your organizations as well.  We have moved forward with many changes and adapted many different solutions.  Our jobs require us to continue to move forward in a new time for our country as we take on each challenge - and I hope - continue to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 virus and its impact.

Social distancing, a new activity no one had heard of 6 months ago, resulted in us having to adapt and become more technology and social media savvy.  Organizations have changed their way of doing business, including the Mid-Atlantic chapter, moving to online platforms and our first "virtual" membership meeting this past month.  We have learned new ways to communicate and conduct business these past few months, all while still meeting our responsibilities.

I am happy to say that we are addressing one of the disappointments from last month.  Next spring, we will come together in Virginia Beach for our 62nd Annual Mid-Atlantic WRX Conference and Equipment Show.  The new dates are May 11th -14th, 2021, after having been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 virus. 

We have modified our contracts and have negotiated the same rates so that everyone will be able to enjoy the equipment "Roadeo," sponsors, exhibitors, training, and fellowship.  There will be more to come on this as we revise and update the schedules, so please keep your eyes on the website and "Chapter Works Weekly" that is sent out every Tuesday with valuable chapter information and updates.  If you want to highlight an innovative way you have been dealing with the recent challenges that we are facing, or how your teams are going above and beyond to get their jobs done, please consider submitting an article for our Chapter Works newsletter.

There are good things to come if we all work together.  Your board of directors, under Don Cole's leadership, recently updated our chapter's  Strategic Plan that can be found on the chapter website.  It allows us to maintain focus on WHY we come together and WHAT our priorities are: VALUE, VOICE, EDUCATION, & MEMBERSHIP.   I want us to all work together and focus on these goals to ensure we get the best value from our organization. 

Additional information on virtual training events and meetings will be distributed within the next month as we work to bring you training on some of the topics that were developed and submitted for the cancelled WRX Conference, so please keep an eye out for that.

I very much look forward to working with each and every one of you in the coming months so that we improve in every way while moving our organizations and our chapter forward together.

Best wishes . . . and stay strong!

Phillip Koetter
Chapter President
APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter
 
pkoetter@vbgov.com
2020 Mid-Atlantic APWA WRX-- CANCELLED!
May 5th - 8th, 2020, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Due to the current status with COVID-19, the Mid-Atlantic APWA Chapter is cancelling the 2020 Mid-Atlantic WRX Conference. 

The 2021 Mid-Atlantic WRX Conference will be scheduled for next May in Virginia Beach. For those who have registered we will work with you on either carrying your registration/sponsor fees over to the 2021 conference or refunding. 

If you had already made a hotel reservation, you should have received a cancellation. If you have not received a refund  or have additional questions about your hotel reservation , please contact the hotel directly.
For additional information, CLICK HERE
Thank You to Our Unsung Heroes!
By Jennifer Caples, APWA Mid-Atlantic Membership Chair

If you had told me this time last year that our world be so drastically different, I wouldn't have believed it. Every aspect of our lives has been touched in some way - most people have been working remotely, schools are closed and even our favorite restaurants had to "kick us to the curb" for a little while. One thing that hasn't changed? The hard work and devotion of the Public Works community.

When I first joined the A/E/C Industry in 2000, I was awakened to a whole new world....that of Public Works. I admit, I was a bit blind to the efforts and dedication it took to make our Cities, Counties and Towns function smoothly. Now, 20 years later, I must say, I have sincere respect and admiration for those who serve our citizens by way of Public Works.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank the Public Works community. The healthcare field has been forefront in our minds due to the health concerns associated with the coronavirus, but the efforts our public works folks have continued to put forth, day after day, without interruption, are noted and appreciated. Thank you for putting yourself out there for us, not only during the COVID crisis, but every day. Thank you for performing the tasks that most of us take for granted and doing so with a welcoming smile.
Coordinated Effort Saves Vulnerable Ash Trees
Released by Fairfax County Government Communications Office

Beginning in 2017, Fairfax County Urban Forest Management began releasing tiny wasps
Urban forester Dan Bluntzer digs a hole for one of the transplanted ash trees in Flatlick Stream Valley Park.
to help control the emerald ash borer in several areas of the county. One of these areas was Flatlick Stream Valley Park, which was slated for sanitary sewer updates, stream restoration, and a trail improvement project.

To help preserve some of the ash trees within the stand, urban foresters worked with ecologists from Stormwater Planning and engineers and planners from the Park Authority to move the trail's location. This was done to reduce the number of ash trees that would be impacted by construction.

In late April 2020, urban foresters transplanted several ash tree seedlings which were in the way of the planned trail. At least a dozen more trees are slated to be transplanted outside of the construction area. This combined effort will allow the ash trees to persist and the parasitic wasps to establish in the region.  
APWA Emerging Leaders Academy - Growing your Village
By Scarlet Stiteler, Accounting Specialist, City of Newport News, Department of Public Works
 
The APWA Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) is a competitive program that encourages professional growth through a strong network of peers. Each year nearly a hundred public works professionals from around the country and world, apply for the program, and usually, sixteen are chosen. ELA is a year-long program that includes monthly team phone calls to discuss homework that is designed to give us a more in-depth look at leadership topics. There is also a group project that is presented at PWX by the members of the graduating class. The facilitators for XII class were Diane Lindeman, Sue Hann, Steve Johnson, and Deanne Cross.
 
I applied on a leap of faith for Class XII, never expecting to get accepted since I am no longer a young professional. While I am now seasoned public works professional, recently I had been given more leadership responsibilities in my organization and felt that I met the requirements. I know that all of us in Class XII were excited, nervous and then excited again when we were notified of our acceptance into the class. None of us knew the profound and lasting impact we would have on each other.
 
We had several days of amazing discussions in Kansas City, when we got to meet in person, about our personal and professional struggles and triumphs. I learned that no matter how seasoned or what your position is, we all have the same types of struggles. We are all members of a not so secret society that will push you out of your comfort zone, cheer you on when you are nervous and console you if something doesn't work the way you had planned. We learned that you do not have to be in a management position to be a leader.
 
This is a group of friends that I know will answer the call when I reach out because of frustration or confusion. I've already tested it and they came through with flying colors, from emails, phone calls and names of books and blogs that would help. During the COVID-19 crisis we have built an even stronger bond, while we may all be in different parts of the country we are all being affected. Not only have we checked on each other personally, we have been able to share what is going on in our own localities to give each other ideas on what can be done in other areas. We've talked about teleworking, becoming homeschool teachers, trying to plan a wedding, and how crews are being challenged during this crisis.
 
Through the monthly phone calls, homework, group project, and weekly group texts, I was reminded to be the best that I can be and to always strive for more. If anything in this article struck a chord with you or you have decided you really need to step out of your comfort zone, go ahead, step out. Whether it is applying for the ELA program, a chapter leadership program (Public Works Institute is also terrific, but that is for another day) or a new job, just step out. You will learn so much about yourself no matter what the outcome is and who knows you may end up with a new part of your village.
 
Scarlet Stiteler is an Accounting Specialist with the City of Newport News, Department of Public Works. She is a graduate of the APWA Emerging Leaders Academy and Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute. She can be reached at 757-269-2709 and sstiteler@nnva.gov.
Comprehensive Phased Drainage and Utility Improvements in Norfolk's Fairmount Park Neighborhood
Released by The City of Norfolk (VA) Department of Public Works

Stormwater collaborated with the Department of Utilities and Hazen and Sawyer to provide a holistic improvement approach to the aging Fairmount Park neighborhood. Fairmount Park, founded in 1899 and marketed as "Norfolk's Ideal Suburb", is a 370-acre watershed comprised of primarily residential development with some mixed commercial areas. The neighborhood contains approximately 2,300 homes (11,000 residents) and a 5-acre park. In 2001, the Fairmount Park Task Force was formed to create a revitalization plan to provide public utility improvements for water and sanitary sewer along with storm drainage and right of way improvements. Implementation of this plan began in 2004. Through special funding to both City departments, this collaborative approach resulted in a multi-phase, multi-year design and construction program.

In September 2019, the City hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to showcase the accomplishments, thank the residents for their patience during the past 15 years and celebrate the final phase of construction.

Phasing Map with final phase highlighted
Due to the scale of the neighborhood, effective phasing was essential for this project. The phasing map was divided into 15 phases based on funding availability and estimated construction costs. Each year, phasing limits were analyzed based on the current market to determine if the limits should be downsized or upsized. The sequence of the phasing map was designed to minimize consecutive periods of construction in one area by purposefully sequencing construction throughout the neighborhood. This phased approach specifically benefited both departments. For the Department of Utilities, design and construction phasing was ordered by addressing phases with the highest number of sanitary sewer breaks thus eliminating Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) per their DEQ Consent Decree, eliminating service calls and reducing maintenance within this neighborhood. For Public Works, the benefits include eliminating nuisance ponding, adding complete streets to promote safe access for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists (ADA ramps, sidewalks, multi-use path) and rebuilding/resurfacing approximately 30 lane miles of roadway.

This comprehensive program resulted in numerous benefits. Cost sharing to accomplish multiple objectives was considered the largest benefit of the program and allowed the City to effectively fund this program. During design, cost sharing included topographic surveying, geotechnical engineering, subsurface utility engineering and preparation of contract documents. During construction, bid items shared between Public Works and Utilities included pavement demolition, undercut and dispose and rebuilding of the roadway (aggregate base and asphalt).
This joint phased approach promoted interdepartmental collaboration resulting in building relationships, sharing institutional knowledge and creating solutions for the betterment of the entire City. Additional benefits included:
  • reduced overall construction impact and duration by performing all improvements within the right of way with a single contractor,
  • increased real estate value based on the aesthetic improvements which led to housing redevelopment,
  • Reliability of underground utilities for decades thus minimizing the likelihood of heavy utility construction within the neighborhood
Improvements quantified and graphically represented to educate residents

By the numbers, Fairmount Park achieved a lot for the City of Norfolk and its residents  with improved utility services for decades while promoting connectivity throughout the neighborhood and community:  

Sanitary Sewer requests have continued to decrease since construction
Since the program's inception, the City's maintenance staff have seen a drastic decline in service requests as utilities were replaced by phase, thus allowing the crews to focus on other service areas throughout the City. After the final phase of construction is complete, the City expects the service calls to approach zero, hopefully for years to come.

In total, the comprehensive approach to utility and right-of-way improvements in Norfolk's Fairmount Park have demonstrated the benefits of coordination among multiple City agencies and phased infrastructure investments. With robust utility improvements underground, the benefits are also evident at the surface, as shown in these before and after photos capturing right-of-way improvements.


   


Acknowledgements
 
The author would like to acknowledge the entire staff of the City of Norfolk (VA), Department of Public Works and Department of Utilities and especially the two City Project Managers: Rey Hernandez, PE (Public Works) and Dan Riley (Utilities).
 
Alan Davis is a Senior Associate with Hazen in the Virginia Beach (VA) office who was involved with Phases 8-15, serving as project manager for the last several phases. Mr. Davis has 19 years of experience in conveyance of water and sewer and drainage improvements.
Floating Litter Trap Installed in Little Hunting Creek
Released by Fairfax County Government Communications Office

To support efforts to reduce litter in Little Hunting Creek, and as part of the county's larger efforts to control litter, this creek was selected as the location for a new floating trash trap, pilot program launched by the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services. In April 2020, a Bandalong floating litter trap was placed in the stream and anchored in place. During the one-year pilot program, county staff will closely monitor the trap to determine how often the trap must be emptied and establish a regular maintenance schedule.

Although stream litter is a problem throughout Fairfax County, Little Hunting Creek has a reputation for being one of the trashiest. For years, volunteer organizations have worked together with county staff to remove litter and debris from the stream located near the Route 1 corridor in the southeastern part of the county. For example, a 2016 watershed cleanup event led by the Friends of Little Hunting Creek collected 423 bags of trash, 29 tires, and 10 shopping carts.

After every rain event, floating litter (mainly plastic bottles) washes down storm drains and into Little Hunting Creek, which feeds into the Potomac River and then flows on toward Chesapeake Bay. The floating litter can come from a variety of sources, such as windblown trash and recyclables on collection days, trash that is placed outside of overflowing bins, illegal dumping, and unintentional or deliberate littering. Wherever the litter originates, much of it ends up in the creek eventually.

Bandalong traps have been successful in capturing floating litter for 30 years and, more
Employees from the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, BrightView, EQR, and Storm Water Systems meet to discuss maintenance of a newly installed Bandalong floating litter trap, which will capture floating litter in Little Hunting Creek. (Social distancing guidelines were observed.)
recently, Washington D.C. and Maryland have used Bandalongs to remove litter from the Anacostia River. The litter traps skim floating trash from the surface of the water. It relies on moving water to deliver floating trash and has no moving parts or energy needs. The trap includes floating booms that funnel floating trash into a sturdy, wire basket for easy trash retrieval. The trap rises and falls with the water surface level within the stream channel during storm events. The trap will be emptied periodically and after large rain events. During occasions when the trap becomes full, litter will pile up behind the booms, preventing the litter from flowing downstream. If the stream floods out of its banks during an unusually large storm, there is a chance that some litter may bypass the booms. Staff anticipates that large storms will necessitate more frequent unscheduled cleaning visits to remove collected litter. 

The pilot program will evaluate the effectiveness of the trap, the effort needed to maintain it, and the return on investment. The trap itself cost $104,500, and other project costs, such as design, permitting, site access, easements, and construction, totaled $587,000. Routine maintenance costs are estimated at $45,000 annually. The pilot project is funded by Stormwater Service District fees. Currently, no plans exist to install a second trap.

Little Hunting Creek was selected as the site of the pilot program because of known trash problems, but it fits the established criteria of being located near a commercial or industrial location, is not adjacent to homes, and access for construction and maintenance is available. The trap was placed in an area that is difficult to access on foot, with access blocked by a privacy fence. Residents, especially children, are strongly discouraged from visiting or tampering with the trap.

The Bandalong floating litter trap pilot program aligns with Fairfax County's existing litter collection efforts, which are achieved through the coordinated efforts of multiple county agencies, the Park Authority, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia Department of Transportation, the sheriff's department, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, Clean Fairfax, the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, and volunteers from other faith-based, civic, and environmental organizations.

If the Bandalong performs as expected, a substantial amount of floating litter will be prevented from reaching the Potomac. However, the reality is that the litter problem is more than just a stormwater management issue. Capturing floating litter in streams only addresses a symptom, not the cause. Addressing the sources of litter requires a coordinated effort from all watershed stakeholders, including local and state governments, elected officials, business owners, non-profit organizations, community groups, schools, and residents. Education, outreach, and broad support for environmental stewardship can help prevent trash from becoming litter in the first place.
SAVE THE DATE: September 24, 2020
YP & ASCE Technical Discussion & Networking Event
Registration Coming Soon!
 
Girl Scouts Jump into Water Event
Released by Fairfax County Government Communications Office

Girl Scouts earned their water badge at Fairfax County's wastewater treatment plant.
In early March, energy and excitement filled the Noman M. Cole, Jr. Pollution Control Plant when 70 girl scouts visited the plant and learned about water quality and environmental stewardship at the Wonders of Water (WOW) event, sponsored annually by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) through their Community Engagement Committee (CEC).

Employees of the Wastewater Management Program are part of a regional CEC team that includes members from wastewater and drinking water utilities from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Each year, the CEC team provides a fun, educational and interactive event whereby girl scouts earn their water badge. This year Wastewater Management employees hosted the event at the plant.

Throughout the day, scouts rotated among six stations with hands-on activities that taught them about water quality and environmental stewardship. Each station was staffed by a different utility member of the CEC team and included DC Water, Fairfax Water, Loudoun Water and Virginia American Water.  Activities included a tour of the plant, looking at microorganisms under a microscope, learning about simple machines like the Archimedes' screw, seeing how salt affects plants, watching how pollutants affect the watershed, and learning about the water cycle.  County WWM arranged the plant tour and staffed a station during the event.

The event also included a discussion with Christine McCoy of the Solid Waste Management Program, who talked about the effects of trash in waterways, the new glass recycling program, and her various jobs throughout her career. Talking to a woman professional about careers and how these types of careers protect water quality is one of the requirements necessary to earn the water badge.
Public Works Employees Receive National and Regional Awards

APWA National Top Ten Public Works Leaders - Judi Hines, Assistant Director of Public Works, was named one of the Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year. This award is one of APWA's highest honors, with winners demonstrating significant professionalism, expertise and a personal dedication to improving the quality of life in their communities through the advancement of public works services and technology. Judi has served as the Assistant Director since 2006.  In this role, she supports the overall management and administration of the department's operating and capital improvement budgets.

APWA National Community Involvement Award - John Lash, a Public Works Field Representative, was presented with Regional and National Public Contact Customer Awards.  These awards recognize employees who provide exceptional services to citizens.  While his job requires him to enforce the solid waste code throughout the city, John has transformed his role to serve as more of an ambassador, engaging with citizens and community organizations to problem solve and ensure the effective utilization of city resources. 

Chapter Distinguished Service Award - David King, retired Director of Public Works from the City of Fredericksburg, was presented with the Chapter Distinguished Service Award by the Chapter Board. This award is presented to a member in recognition of service to the chapter and well-established preeminence in the field of public works. During his tenure with the chapter, Dave served as Chapter President for two years, chaired three successful conferences in Fredericksburg, and was President when we welcomed West Virginia into the chapter. Dave is enjoying retirement in Savannah, Georgia with his wife, Jackie. Congratulations Dave wishing you continued happiness and joy in retirement.
 
INDIVIDUAL CHAPTER AWARDS
The COVID-19 crisis may have changed our format, but it didn't stop the APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter from recognizing our accomplished members for their service. Congratulations to everyone!

Non-Public Contact Customer Service Award- Melanie Haislip - Melanie's service to the City of Virginia Beach has been unwavering whether she's ensuring work orders are completed by field crews, responding to emergency and storm events, or supporting special events. Her improvements of the department's supply inventory (including 2,133 unique part numbers) was an extensive project that resulted in saved time and increased accuracy. Melanie exemplifies the Non- Public Customer Service award ideals by striving to meet her City's successful Public Works Projects.

Non-Public Contact Customer Service Honorable Mention- Gwendolyn Barnett - As an Account Technician Gwendolyn provides extraordinary customer service to City of Chesapeake as she manages budgets and initiates all procurements for maintenance technicians, supervisors, and engineers. She is a consummate professional and superb teammate to everyone she comes in contact with which is why she is a prime candidate for the APWA Non-Public Contact Customer Service Honorable Mention.

Public Contact Customer Service Award- John Lash - John Lash is a respected and highly effective Field Representative for the City of Newport News. His primary mission is to enforce the Solid Waste City code, but John does it with far more than just notices and citations. John embraces the role of ambassador, and as such partners with community organizations to provide tangible solutions as well as insight into City resources and capability. One Initiative contributed to the City being awarded a $30 million federal grant to improve neighborhoods deeply in need of improvement.

Public Contact Customer Service Honorable Mention- Pam Orlandi - Pam has been the initial point of contact for responses to drainage and mosquito complaints in Henrico County's Department of Public Works for over sixteen years. She has consistently provided exemplary customer service to both residents and other county employees during her time with the county. Congratulations Pam for being awarded the Public Contact Customer Service Honorable Mention.

Donald S. Frady Award- Kim Journell - Kim Journell, Administrative Assistant II, received the regional Donald S. Frady Award.  This is presented annually to public works employees in recognition of outstanding achievement in local government service.  Kim has been with the city for a little over one year and, in just a short amount of time, has accepted immense responsibilities. She took over the management of the relief eligibility program for older citizens and has shown compassion and concern for each resident. She even delivered a letter of approval to a Newport News resident on her 100th birthday, along with a card from Newport News Public Works. 

Robert S. Hopson Leadership Service Award- Russell E. Garvin - Russell is a Facility Maintenance Coordinator for the Chesapeake Public Works Department. He is responsible for overseeing mechanical maintenance for over 100 city buildings. Russell's dedication to Public Works and the City of Chesapeake, his personal leadership qualities, and his long record of superior performance in a technical field make him highly deserving of the Robert S. Hopson Leadership Service Award and an invaluable asset to City of Chesapeake and its citizens.

Public Works Hero- Sgt. Antoine Smith - Police Sergeant Antoine Smith was nominated for acts of life-saving bravery he performed to rescue a driver from a vehicle submerged at the bottom of Liberty Reservoir. Sgt. Smith assisted a Carroll County Sheriff Deputy in this rescue, but in the end, also rescued the deputy. For his outstanding personal bravery, we award Sgt. Antoine Smith the Public Works Hero Award. Congratulations and thank you for your brave service.

Professional Manager of the Year Award- Larry Painter - Larry is the Fire Shop Supervisor in the City of Richmond, with over 20 years of experience in automotive and re-pair management, where he specializes in a hands-on supervisor approach. Through his expertise and supervision, the Fire Shop has maintained an 86% productivity rating for the calendar year 2019, with only four technicians. Larry is well respected among all Fire Departments, coworkers, and his employees. Larry is charged with one of the most pivotal task in the Fleet, as the City Of Richmond Fire Departments are on call 24/7 to deal with life threatening situations.

CHAPTER PROJECT AWARDS
Emergency Construction Repair Award- Cottage Street Emergency Sewer Rehabilitation - The Cottage Street Emergency Sewer Rehabilitation was a challenging emergency project that required a quick response and immediate design decisions based on field conditions and mechanisms of failure. Because the project team persevered through several difficulties and installed a permanent solution to an ongoing problem, they are being awarded the Emergency Construction Repair Award.

Environment Award- Solid Processing Rehabilitation- Contract 2 - The Solids Processing Rehabilitation project was an upgrade to specific unit processes at the Pollution Control Plant in Fairfax County. The purpose of this project was to upgrade a portion of the plant to keep processes and equipment in good working order and provide reliable wastewater treatment. For their focus on environmental awareness and protection, they are being awarded the Environment Project Award.

Structures Less than $5M- Melrose Branch Library - With its highly visible and accessible location, Melrose Library in Roanoke, VA has become a popular attraction for people from the neighboring community and students from the area schools. The facility serves not only as a library but also as a social center for multiple activities. This beautiful facility has generated a tremendous amount of community pride in both adult and youth patrons and is the winner of the Structures Project Less Than $5M.

Structures $5M - $25M- Great Bridge Battlefield and Waterways History Foundation Museum and Visitors Center - This project scope included construction of a museum and visitor center that houses artifacts and displays which describe the history of the City of Chesapeake and the Revolutionary War Battle of Great Bridge. This project represents an excellent example of when multiple agencies and individuals -- public and private -- come together to work towards a common community goal. For enhancing and celebrating the uniqueness of Chesapeake's history, this project receives the Project Award for Structures $5 M to $25 M.

Structures Honorable Mention- Building and Facilities Program, Prince William County - The Building & Facilities Program addressed large-scale replacement or repairs that could not be accomplished with existing resources. The program invested in existing capital assets to extend the life of facilities and better serve the community. The list of potential projects keeps the Building & Facilities program sustainable for future years and is considered a permanent county program.

Structures Honorable Mention- Bailey's Shelter and Supportive Housing, Fairfax, VA - The Bailey's Shelter and Supportive Housing facility is the first of its kind in Fairfax County, combining the emergency shelter program with permanent supportive housing. The innovative facility with sustainable and environmentally friendly design, has become the model for providing permanent supportive housing for our most vulnerable citizens and provides the wrap-around services to prevent them from facing homelessness.

Structures Honorable Mention- Lewinsville Center, Fairfax, VA - The Lewinsville Center project included the construction of a 32,000 SF facility using green building concepts. Lewinsville Center seeks to foster a strong sense of community through providing the support, programs and services for individuals and families through all of life's stages. It is awarded the Honorable Mention for Structure of $5 M to $25 M.

Structures $25M - $75M- Herndon Station Metro Garage, Fairfax, VA - The Herndon Station Metro Garage project, which provided an additional 2007 parking spaces was part of the Silverline Metro Rail project. This project met and exceeded the goals and is visually appealing, environmentally friendly, and of the highest quality of design and construction. The new facility is a model of excellence in meeting the Agency's mission and responsibilities to serve the public.

Transportation Award Less than $5M- Vesper Street Shared Use Path - The Vesper Street Shared Use Path provided a 10-foot-wide asphalt shared use path approximately 2,030 feet in length from the end of Vesper Street to the intersection of Leesburg Pike and the Spring Hill Metro Station. The project includes a 90-foot-long pedestrian bridge. The trail will save many vehicular trips to the Metro Station and retail shops along Route 7, reduce traffic congestion and avoid air quality impacts.

Transportation Honorable Mention Less Than $5M- Citywide Signal Optimization - The City of Richmond initiated a citywide signal optimization program to improve multimodal safety and operations at 402 intersections. An immediate betterment to the City's street network was achieved through extensive signalized intersection data collection and field observations, timing plan development, and identification of safety and operational improvements.
Solid Waste Crew Completes Sitework for National Memorial
Released by Fairfax County Government Communications Office

Big ideas are rarely realized without overcoming unforeseen obstacles. That is the case in
The outline for the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is visible from the air
Lorton, Va., where a national memorial to American suffragists is under construction at Occoquan Regional Park. The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association broke ground on the project last fall, with the goal to open the garden-style plaza in August on the 100-year anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment. But that plan hit a snag when the estimate for sitework came back higher than expected. With the threat of a construction delay looming, creative thinking and cooperation were needed to bring this big idea to life.

The soil where the memorial is planned was not suitable for building. Before the project could move forward, the soil would need to be removed, replaced with backfill, and graded. Estimated costs for digging, hauling, and disposal were adding up fast.

NOVA Parks leadership reached out to the Solid Waste Management Program team for help. The I-95 landfill complex - and all their earthmoving equipment and expertise - is just up the hill from the park. "Everyone wanted to help, and we knew we could do the work much cheaper and easier with our equipment and dedicated people," said Hans Christensen, director of operations. "We were able to mobilize directly to the site since our properties are connected," he added.

The Solid Waste Management Program's team utilized heavy equipment, such as a bulldozer, excavator, drum roller, and dump truck, to construct the project. The experienced crew undercut the existing grade and removed the bad soil. Then the contractor ran out of backfill, so the team came up with a creative solution to bring the construction area up to a final subgrade: use recycled asphalt millings that were stockpiled at the landfill complex.

"I have to admit that there were a few hurdles along the way, especially with the coronavirus situation changing things on a daily basis. But with the dedication and persistence of our team, we prevailed!" said Shreve. "At the end of the day, we were all glad we could assist on such an important project."

Watch a drone video on Linkedin or Facebook.  
Tune in to EnviroPod     
Released by Fairfax County Government Communications Office

If you're a multitasker, you'll love EnviroPod, our podcast about the environment. Learn
EnviroPod host Scott Coco interviews Solid Waste Management Program director John Kellas
about infrastructure and environmental issues while you work, exercise, or lounge on the couch. Subject matter experts discuss water pollution, litter, capital improvement projects, green buildings, native plants, plastic pollution, stream cleanups, watershed education, industrial and high-risk runoff, recycling, tree pests, tree care and reforestation, and other topics.

John Kellas, director of the Solid Waste Management Program, talks about trash and recycling changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen now.
Meghan Fellows, certified environmental restoration specialist, discusses stream restorations. Listen now.
Ecologists Prepare Meadow for Pollinators, Students
Released by Fairfax County Government Communications Office

What should have been the start of a new Revitalize, Restore, Replant season ended up as a maintenance day for Fairfax County staff within the Watershed Assessment Branch of the Stormwater Planning Division.

Revitalize, Restore, Replant, R3 for short, is an award-winning program where county
Ecologists perform spring maintenance in a bioretention area at Little Run ES.
ecologists work with school-aged children to transform part of their campus into a thriving pollinator meadow. Not only does this program provide the school with a beautiful green area, but the native plants are specifically chosen to provide food and habitat for our native wildlife and promote increased stormwater infiltration through root growth.

Since 2017, WAB staff have worked with 2,000 students across 18 schools to install almost 10,000 plants. Spring maintenance of deadheading and weeding is normally something that the school takes care of themselves, but the recent closure of Fairfax County Public Schools campuses due to the COVID-19 pandemic has left these areas untouched. Working with FCPS Facilities and Management Division, WAB received permission to access the closed campuses to maintain these planted areas so that students and teachers will have a thriving pollinator meadow to come back to in the fall.

"The students put in a lot of time and energy into these plantings, and we want to make sure they are ready for spring growth," said Chris Mueller, WAB ecologist. In this time of social distancing, cutting back old growth and clearing weeds is something that can be done while maintaining a six-foot spacing between staff.

For more information about the R3 program and other environmental education programs, please visit the   Watershed Education and Outreach website.
Capital Facilities Conducts Bid Opening Outdoors
Released by Fairfax County Government Communications Office

The closure of the Fairfax County Government Center to everyone except employees has created a unique challenge for Capital Facilities staff: how to conduct public bid openings for upcoming capital construction projects. In response, staff devised a creative solution to keep projects moving through the pipeline - move bid meetings outdoors!

Chris Smith and Maurice Avren
On Thursday, April 2, the first outdoor bid opening, for the Lorton Community Center and Library project, was held outside, near the entrance to the Government Center entrance. Three bidders attended the meeting. Bids were dropped into a basket, and gloves were worn while opening the envelopes. Date-stamped contractor bids were read aloud by Chris Smith, who wore an N-95 mask and maintained safe social distancing by remaining behind a table. Maurice Avren also read the submitted bids to ensure accuracy. Results will be emailed to contractors.

The meeting was successful, but challenges with holding an outdoor meeting on a breezy spring day were experienced. Papers on the table were weighted down, and a worker running a leaf-blower provided unwanted background noise. "These things happen," said Maurice Avren, senior section manager, Business Design and Construction Division.
Joint Effort Rescues Baby Fox
Release by the Fairfax County Government Communications Office

Public Works crews have seen it all, but occasionally, even the most seasoned practitioner is surprised. Jonathan Murray, the operations manager for Fairfax County's Maintenance and Stormwater Management Division, received a call from 911 center on Monday morning. They needed help mapping the stormwater pipes on Beacon Tree Lake Drive in Reston, Va., because a resident reported seeing a fox scurry into an inlet.

Murray dispatched a CCTV team to assist in the effort. Brandon Starling and Corey
A baby fox hides inside a stormwater pipe.
Foddrell arrived at the site and met personnel from Fire and Rescue and the Police Department's Animal Control Division. The public safety guys told them there was a baby fox somewhere inside a 15-inch pipe.

Starling and Foddrell placed the rover, a camera-mounted, remote-controlled vehicle, into the storm drain. Once the baby fox was found, they placed a coffee can over the rover to prevent the fox from climbing over it. They were then able to gently nudge the fox toward a firefighter who had climbed down into the drainage structure. Using a pole with a loop on the end, the fireman secured the fox and gently removed him from the pipe. Animal Control placed the baby fox in a carrier and released him safely back into the wild.

Volunteer for a National Committee, Council or Task Force:
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Members interested in giving back to the profession by volunteering their time and sharing their knowledge are invited to submit a nomination to be considered for appointment to an APWA National committee, council, or task force. The committee nominations process is open until March 22. Details regarding the committees, positions, goals, and expectations of participants and how to nominate yourself or a colleague can be found HERE  Questions can be directed to Teresa Hon ( thon@apwa.net  or 816-595-5224).

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