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

September 2023 Newsletter


President's Corner

By Denise Nelson, P.E., CFM, ENV SP, LEED AP, Director of Resilience and Grants, Launch! Consulting, Inc.

Happy September, everyone! It’s my honor to be writing my first President’s Message, and I want to thank you again for installing me in this role. I’m excited to follow a long line of successful male and female chapter presidents. I also want to congratulate our new President-Elect Gaynelle Hart (Lynchburg, VA) and Vice-President Jeff Wilkerson (Martinsburg, WV).


I hope you attended and enjoyed the chapter WRX conference in May in Hampton Roads! As then President-Elect, I served as conference co-chair with overwhelming support from Scott Smith, then Past-President, as co-chair. We are both so thankful for the numerous volunteers that helped us in planning and hosting the conference! Special thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors, also! We tried a few new things this year: starting the conference a day early, having a VIP lounge in the exhibit hall for people from APWA Accredited departments, hosting visitors from the lost planet of Mandalore at the social, and more. We had a record turnout of attendees, exhibitors, golfers, and Roadeo participants, and we have the photos and video clips to prove it! We were honored to have opening remarks by Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck and City Manager Mary Bunting, APWA Past-President Stan Brown, and our Region 3 Director Jeffery Brown. And what about the Keynote from NASA’s Patrick Cosgrove, who is leading the effort to get humans to Mars by 2040?! If you missed his message, the video will be on our website soon. Thank you to everyone who participated in the conference events – we hope you found the education and networking valuable.



Our chapter was awarded the Presidential Award for Chapter Excellence (PACE) at the APWA PWX conference in San Diego last month. Your wonderful board members, committee chairs, and other volunteers operate our chapter in excellence, and we’re pleased to receive the award again. I didn’t attend PWX this year, but I heard there was a great celebration at our chapter social. Start thinking now about what abstract to submit to present at PWX 2024 in Atlanta.


We have much more excitement coming to our chapter - keep an eye on the Chapter Works Weekly for details!

·      Our new website will be fully functional soon.

·      All of our Regional Activities Committees are scheduling events.

·      Save-the-date for WRX 2024 April 30-May 3 in Roanoke, Virginia.

·      2024 Chapter award nominations and WRX abstracts will be requested and due earlier this year.

·      Our new Annual Chapter Sponsorship program is open for registration from now until December 31st


The board will be meeting again in November to plan the chapter’s future. In the meantime, I hope you will find value in this newsletter and the weekly emails, attend an event, invite a colleague to join, and consider volunteering with us at an event or on a committee.


Thank you again for the opportunity to serve,

Denise Nelson, P.E., CFM, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter

Launch! Consulting, Inc.

2024 APWA Annual Sponsorship Program

Sponsor Today!

Click Here to Sponsor

This past year the American Public Work’s Association’s (APWA) Mid Atlantic Chapter decided to shift from sponsorships that were associated with individual events, including our annual WRX conference, and move towards an annual chapter-wide sponsorship approach. This is an exciting change for our organization and has the potential to greatly impact the services the chapter provides as well as increased benefits for the sponsor. We are excited to officially kickoff our 2024 annual sponsorship drive, on a first come-first serve basis, which will remain open through December 29, 2023. 


The APWA Mid Atlantic Chapter’s 2024 annual sponsorship packages are suited for anyone’s budget, with maximum year-long exposure and customizable options, allowing you to select the best add-ons to meet your organization’s goals. APWA continues to grow and expand in membership engagement and educational programming. We hope you will consider partnering with the Mid-Atlantic Chapter to develop authentic connections between our robust community of vendors and public work’s professionals in the Mid Atlantic Chapter.


In closing we greatly appreciate the continued support of everyone advancing the goals and vision of the APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter and the Public Work’s community.


Harold Caples

Immediate Past President

Annual Sponsorship Committee Chair


for the




October 17, 2023, 10:30 AM to 1:45 PM

Plan to join us for this unique tour of a new educational facility in Alexandria, VA. Tour facilitated in cooperation with Virginia Tech’s DIVISION OF CAMPUS PLANNING, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND FACILITIES. Special thanks to Chapter Board member Matt Stolte, Engineering Services Director, Virginia Tech Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure and Facilities for assistance with planning and coordinating the tour.


Virginia Tech is partnering with the Commonwealth of Virginia to create a bold, new vision for graduate education in computer science and computer engineering that will unlock the power of diverse people and ideas to solve the world's most pressing problems through technology. The tour will showcase sustainable features

incorporated into the design elements.

Located adjacent to the nation's capital in Alexandria, Virginia, the Innovation Campus will unite industry, government, and academia in dynamic project-based learning and research to shape the way knowledge and emerging technologies influence society, driving a new era

for the greater Washington D.C., metro area's innovation economy.


For more information about the facility, click on the two links below:

Check Out the Virtual Tour
Groundbreaking Kicks Off Innovation Campus Construction


Details are being finalized. Arrival @ 10:30 am followed by Virginia Tech DIVISION OF CAMPUS PLANNING, INFRASTRUCTURE AND FACILITIES staff briefing. Tour to follow. Address to site:

3625 Potomac Avenue, Alexandria 22305.

Registration is limited to the first 24 people who register in advance. Advance registration is required, no walk-ins. This is an active construction site. Safety gear must be provided and worn by participants – more details will be provided. At a minimum, closed-toe shoes, safety shoes (hard soles, steel toes preferred), long pants along with safety glasses. No sleeveless shirts. Other personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided courtesy of Virginia Tech.

Watch the Chapter Weekly Works and email blasts for more alerts regarding advance registration. Also watch for parking, directions, and meeting location details.

Lunch after the tour is included with advance registration at:

Rustico Alexandria, 827 Slaters Lane Alexandria VA 22314.


Designing for Brownfield Site

  • Parking deck design and construction
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Removal of contaminated soils

Construction Challenges

  • Onsite BIM Coordinator with surveyors to continually calibrate BIM
  • Construction/Supply Chain Issues
  • Commissioning

Mid-Atlantic Chapter Receives PACE Award for the 18th Time

The Presidential Award for Chapter Excellence (PACE) recognizes APWA Chapters for contributions made to positively impact their membership, profession, and community. Chapters are evaluated on membership, leadership and committee development, outreach programs like the Public Works Institute, Young Professionals group, awards program, scholarship opportunities, communications methods and activities committees that plan regional events.

Hampton is “a National Leader” in Groundbreaking for Lake Hampton Resiliency Project

By Robin McCormick, Communications Strategist, City of Hampton

Aug 18, 2023 – Hampton broke ground Friday morning on the first of three innovative resiliency projects designed primarily to reduce the impact of flooding on the area around Newmarket Creek.


“These projects aim for innovative ways to manage stormwater and flooding, and they create multiple benefits for the community,” Mayor Donnie Tuck said.


In the project kicked off August 18th, Lake Hampton will be transformed from a simple retention pond into a nature habitat that provides trails and recreation, reduces flooding, and filters polluted runoff.


“Stormwater is a major – and increasing – source of pollution to our rivers and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Peggy Sanner, Virginia Executive Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “Designing infrastructure that will meet current and future environmental conditions should – and I argue must – incorporate green elements that will function like the natural environment to reduce polluted runoff, mitigate flooding, beautify neighborhoods, and create recreational benefits for communities.”


Hampton is the first locality in Virginia to use the Environmental Impact Bonds as part of the financing. Those “green bonds” appeal to investors who are seeking a return for the environment as well as a financial investment. They come with the city’s commitment to document and share the results. The bonds have helped secure an additional $24 million in grants from state and federal agencies.


“Hampton joined the select ranks of cities like Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; New Orleans; and Buffalo,” said Jason Lee, a director at Qualified Ventures, which facilitated the bond sale. “You’re not just a regional leader in innovative public finance — you’re a national leader.”


Since 2015, Hampton has been committed to the idea that projects should not try to fight the water but work with it, and that such projects should include additional benefits. Lake Hampton Resilience Park will reduce flooding and pollution by retaining more water and filtering runoff, and will also become a thriving habitat for birds and other wildlife. It will also create a shared-use path that will connect to the existing Waterwalk Trail park.


Overall, the three Newmarket Creek projects – Lake Hampton, the elevating of North Armistead Avenue and green infrastructure, and the Big Bethel Blueway – are projected to store and filter more than 8.5 million gallons of stormwater.


“The need for this work is only increasing,” Tuck said. “Resiliency is not accomplished by the City of Hampton alone – we need local, regional, state, and federal partners. We need individual community members to take resilient action and continue to renew their commitment to the future of Hampton.”


You can learn more about Resilient Hampton’s plans here

Frog Hollow Recreational Trail

By Jeff Wilkerson, Public Works Director, City of Martinsburg, WV, APWA Mid Atlantic Chapter Vice President

[email protected]

The Frog Hollow Rail Spur was constructed in the 1880’s from the Martinsburg Train Station Roundhouse Complex to the Standard Lime and Stone Company south of Martinsburg. Standard and Lime granted an easement on the Frog Hollow Rail Spur soon after its construction to the B & O Railroad-the predecessor to CSX-to operate the rail line to serve its operations. The Frog Hollow Rail Spur remained operational for 140 years serving industry in and around the City of Martinsburg until it was removed in 2021. 

Argos USA, LLC and CSX Transportation, LLC, who held the land rights to the Spur generously donated the Frog Hollow Rail Spur to the City of Martinsburg for the construction of the multi-modal trail which was completed on June 2023. The City worked with Civil and Environmental Consultants (CEC) for project design and management and Minghini’s General Contractors for construction.

The trail is a 1.1 mile trail through downtown Martinsburg winding along the Tuscarora Creek. On the north end of the trail a stormwater pond was constructed to filter stormwater before it enters the Tuscarora Creek. Eventually this trail will be connected to other existing trail systems which will create a nearly 15-mile multi-modal trail that will connect Martinsburg, WV to Ranson, WV.

Mission Tomorrow Event Hosted by ChamberRVA

By Deana Williams, Assistant Division Director & Catie McCarthy, Environmental Program Specialist

Henrico County, Department of Public Works, Environmental Services Division 

Mission Tomorrow is a forward-thinking career exploration event for over 12,000 eighth graders in the Richmond region. ChamberRVA hosts the event at Richmond Raceway and invites exhibitors from both public and private sectors to display booths for an interactive experience. Henrico County Department of Public Works had successful participation in 2022 with a STEM booth hosted by the Environmental Services Division’s MS4 group and Standing Water Initiative team, as well as the Design Division’s Floodplain group. The Road Maintenance Division hosted a separate booth in the construction area of the raceway.

The MS4 group demonstrated an EnviroScape model, which showed various sources of pollution in our communities and how they impact our waterways. The visual representation of pollution being carried from runoff to storm drain and eventually to our waterways helped the kids understand why monitoring this pollution is necessary.

The Standing Water Initiative had information on mosquito life cycles, their breeding habitats, and how the kids can help decrease mosquito populations in their own backyard. They also had a specimen collection on display that showed the different types of mosquito species that live in Central Virginia.

The Floodplain group demonstrated Ward’s Stormwater Floodplain Simulation System, a physical model that helps students understand the importance of wetlands and retention ponds in flood management. Using water to simulate a rainstorm, the adjustable trays in the model showed how stormwater runoff can flood downstream properties, and showed how appropriate measures can be implemented to reduce stream flow.

Road Maintenance demonstrated an excavator in the construction booth area. They explained the various maintenance activities they perform with the excavator and discussed other responsibilities of their division.

For the 2023 event, Mission Tomorrow will take place over three days instead of two so that students and exhibitors have additional time to interact. Henrico County DPW plans to bring representatives from all divisions to show students that one agency has many functions in different fields of study. There is an evening event geared toward high school students to discuss shadowing and internship opportunities. We are looking forward to this year’s event, and we hope you can join us if you are in the region! Exhibitor sign-up can be done using this link

View the Mission Tomorrow Page Here

View the Mission Tomorrow Video Here

We hope to see you there!

Adult Changing Stations

Howard County, Maryland Department of Public Works

Beginning in October 2022, Maryland law has mandated the installation of adult changing stations within certain renovated and new public buildings. The Howard County Government prioritizes providing access to all residents and asked the Department of Public Works (DPW) to consider installing adult changing stations into existing projects and County public buildings. DPW’s Bureau of Facilities, who is responsible for the design and construction of new and renovated buildings within the County, was tasked with working with the Administration and partner agencies such as Recreation and Parks and the Department of Community Resources and Services to identify existing buildings that could be prioritized to provide this added level of accessibility.


Since the law has come into effect, family restrooms with adult changing stations have been created in multiple facilities such as the new Circuit Courthouse, the Harriet Tubman Cultural Center, the Gary Arthur Community Center and the North Laurel Community Center. Although not mandated, the new family restrooms are being furnished with height adjustable changing stations to provide enhanced usability.


To help fund the new family restrooms with adult changing stations, the Bureau of Facilities submitted for and was awarded $300,000 in a Maryland state grant. This grant will be used to fund a new Family Restroom in the Roger Carter Community Center (which will include a shower) and other 50+ Centers. Furthermore, planning is underway to add family restrooms with adult changing tables in all the major parks.


Eventually, all the newly installed adult changing stations will be catalogued on Maryland’s 211 web page,. Howard County is proud to expand accessibility to public County facilities by providing safe, hygienic, and private family restrooms for all residents.

Photographs below from two recent installations in Howard County Community Centers:

Green Fleet Awards

By Johnny Switzer, BCFP, FMP., who is the Fleet & Facilities Manager for the Town of Warrenton, VA. 

The Town of Warrenton, Virginia, is a historic community at the center of Fauquier County with a population of just over 10,000 in our town. The town of Warrenton and our surrounding area is known for its historic Main Street, Virginia Gold Cup Horse Races, and many well-preserved 18th and 19th century buildings.

The town is committed to becoming more sustainable through several objectives.

Aged Fleet

For many years, the town's fleet was made up of mostly fuel inefficient vehicles. Over the last seven years we have replaced countless vehicles that had carbureted engines and vintage diesel equipment from the 90’s. Warrenton has made a concerted effort to replace those vehicles with more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly models.

As a result of these efforts, the town's police fleet is now 50% hybrid. And by 2030, Warrenton plans to have a fully hybrid fleet of police vehicles. The police department also now uses electric bicycles for some of its patrols. The combination of these efforts has helped to reduce the department's carbon footprint and improve air quality.

Reduced Energy Consumption

Warrenton is working to reduce its overall energy consumption. The town has installed solar panels on its police station, and it's also working to improve its energy efficiency in other facilities. This has helped to reduce the department's reliance on fossil fuels and save money on energy costs.

As part of this commitment, the town has installed two free-level two electric vehicle charging stations in our old town district. These charging stations are available to anyone who drives an electric vehicle, regardless of whether they are a resident of Warrenton or just visiting.

Reduced Waste

Warrenton is also committed to reducing its waste. The town has a recycling program that's available to all residents, and it's also working to reduce the amount of brush and leaves that end up in our landfill by offering special recycling and collection programs.

Public Outreach

Warrenton makes a consistent commitment to public outreach. The town has a social media page where we share information about our sustainability initiatives, weather alerts, staff accomplishments, and the many events we host throughout the year.

One of the popular events that Warrenton hosts is a First Friday Street Fair. These fairs feature a variety of activities, including live music, food trucks, and educational booths. It's a great way for residents to learn more about sustainability and how they can make a difference in our community.

I'm proud of the work that Warrenton is doing to be more sustainable. It's a small town, but we are making a big difference. I encourage all of you to do your part to make the world a more sustainable place.

Author: Johnny Switzer, BCFP, FMP., who is the Fleet & Facilities Manager for the Town of Warrenton, VA. Johnny is a Biobased Certified Fleet Professional and a Certified Facility Management Professional who manages a diverse portfolio of assets with a concentration on sustainable practices. 

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices is Getting a Makeover?!

By Steven J. Yob, P.E., Deputy County Manager for Community Operations

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) with regulations for road markings, stop signs, and traffic lights was last updated in 2009. The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) thinks the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) overdue updates will amount to no more than a makeover, leaving fundamental flaws in place, such as prioritizing "moving private vehicles fast above all other goals–like safety, climate, and access for people walking, biking, in a wheelchair, or on a bus."

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) with regulations for road markings, stop signs, and traffic lights was last updated in 2009. The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) thinks the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) overdue updates will amount to no more than a makeover, leaving fundamental flaws in place, such as prioritizing "moving private vehicles fast above all other goals–like safety, climate, and access for people walking, biking, in a wheelchair, or on a bus."

This is contrary to the desire for many communities to create walkable neighborhoods and vibrant, vehicle-free town centers and economic areas. It is also contrary to the 2015 amendments to subsection 23 U.S.C. 109 of Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act that suggested looking to NACTO's Urban Street Design Guide to support pedestrian and bicycle traffic as well as address impacts to environmental and historical resources. NACTO's staff and members including Baltimore (MD), Montgomery County (MD), and WMATA have provided FHWA with hundreds of revisions to promote non-motorized transportation and reduce the number of pedestrian deaths.

You can access the MUTCD, proposed revisions, and many more resources a HERE 


FOR WRX 2024

Get your Abstracts and Awards Submissions Ready!

Submissions Will Open in September

Upcoming Webinar Events

The Down and Dirty of How Small Towns Can Avoid Getting Hacked

September 21, 2023 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Webinars for Operators. Learn:

~ What water and wastewater operators can learn for their role in security

~ How to talk with IT (they speak a different language)

~ Security best practices you can do yourself without IT Registration


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle?

Webinar Series | Sept 21 & 28

Please join Environment Virginia, Clean Virginia Waterways, Lynnhaven River Now!, and Clean Fairfax for a webinar series on the plastic pollution crisis, what Virginia is doing about it, and strategies for moving towards a more circular economy and litter-free environment.


Check Out More Industry Events & Webinars Here!

To Our 2023 Newsletter Sponsor!

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2023 - 2024




Denise Nelson, PE, CFM, ENV SP, LEED AP

Director of Resilience and Grants

Launch! Consulting Inc

Richmond, VA

President Elect

Gaynelle L. Hart

Director of Public Works 

City of Lynchburg, VA

Immediate Past-President

Harold Caples, PE

Senior Cost Estimator

Virginia Department of Transportation

City of Richmond, VA


Jeff Wilkerson

Director of Public Works

City of Martinsburg, WV


Catherine Sydnor



Richmond, VA


David Bradshaw, PE


Clark Nexsen

Virginia Beach, VA

Chapter Delegate

James W. Long, III, PE, DBIA

Project Manager

Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP

Virginia Beach, VA

Chapter Delegate (Alternate)

Jason Calbert

Administrator Street Maintenance 

Department of Public Works

Newport News, VA


Dawn V. Odom

Planning and Investment Manager 

Virginia Department of Transportation

Suffolk, VA


Jennifer Caples

Whitman, Requardt & Associates

Richmond, Virginia

Troy Eisenberger, P.E.

Department of Public Works

Chesapeake, VA

Shwan Fatah, P.E.

Wastewater Collection Division

Fairfax County, Virginia

Yosef Kebed

Department of Public Works

Howard County, Maryland

Ryn Kennedy

Engineering and Environmental Services Henrico County, Virginia

Renee LaFollette

Department of Public Works Capital Projects Leesburg, VA

Amy Linderman, P.E.

Department of Public Works

Fairfax, Virginia

Kyle Logue, P.E.

Greeley and Hansen

Richmond, Virginia

Ian Shaw

Department of Public Works

Roanoke, Virginia

Matt Stolte, P.E., ENV SP

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter | 5007 C Victory Blvd, #280 | Yorktown, VA 23693