Ariaratnam, S., Banerjee, S., Lueke, J., and Pinghe, S. (2010). Photogrammetric Methods for Quality Control of Trenchless Construction Projects
Found in Reporter March 2012

One concern associated with trenchless construction techniques is surface heave or settlement that can damage pavements and other structures. Traditional methods of assessing surface damage have involved visual walkovers or total station survey. These techniques require physical access, and significant time to complete and compile data to determine what has taken place. While LIDAR can also be utilized, it is relatively cost prohibitive.
 
Photogrammetry is the practice of determining geometric properties from photographic images. This produces accurate three-dimensional ground surface measurements. Measurements are determined utilizing two or more photographs taken from different positions simultaneously at specific time intervals.  The photographs are compiled, using photogrammetry software, to determine any surface changes.  Comparing photographs from different time intervals allows the user to monitor surface movements. This technique provides a cost effective, accurate, and timely methodology for inspectors to conduct quality control on trenchless projects and assess surface changes.

Clarke, S.  (2012). Small City Capital Improvement Planning: Design and Implementation. 
Found in Reporter January 2012

Onawa, Iowa (population 2,746) requested assistance from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in completing the city’s first Capital Improvement Plan. The actual process was compared to scholarly research.  The research focused on four areas: CIP participants, procedural steps, project prioritization methods, and funding options.  These areas became the focus of the study, which strives to provide practical knowledge to the scholarly beliefs.

 1.  Conclusions reached include:The responsibility of preparing a CIP in a small city should be shared by all
      stakeholders
 2.  The procedural steps outlined in the research should be utilized as a guide for the CIP;
 3.  Experience-based judgment and departmental ranking are the most relevant project prioritization approaches; and,
 4.  The different financing options should all be considered during a CIP process.


Cleys, T., Erickson, L., and Humm, G. (2010) Rehabilitation of the Lents Trunk Sewer in Portland, Oregon
Found in Reporter March 2012

Portland, OR is under a State mandate to control its combined sewage overflow outfalls into the Willamette River.
 
This project includes; CSO pump station construction, force main and use of the existing 1922 horseshoe-shaped Lents Trunk Sewer (LTS) outfall as pump station storage. In converting the outfall sewer into storage line, an investigation was conducted to look at feasible alternatives.
 
The investigation found the LTS upper end was in good condition. This 3400 ft. (1.04 km) will receive spot repairs and increased maintenance.

The lower 1000 ft. (0.30 km).portion where internal pressures would be greatest required repairs.
Technologies were evaluated would have to withstand external groundwater and internal pressures from the stored water and to conform to the arched configuration. The repair had to pass through a 37 ft. (11.82 m), 100 ft. (30.5 m) radius bend and be installed without intermediate access.  Total length was 4,500 ft. (1.37 km).

Grafenauer, T. and Orton, C. (2010). Pre-Chlorinated Pipe Bursting Project: Largest Ever in North America
Found in Reporter March 2012

The versatility and capability of the static pipe bursting method continues to accelerate thanks due to contractors like Murphy Pipeline, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., that continue to push the method to achieve better, more effective results. The Livonia, Mich. project demonstrates this point.
 
Livonia, Michigan’s eighth largest city has a population of 100,000 and a water demand of 16 MGD (60,566 m3) for 38,000 users. As with many Detroit area communities, Livonia’s infrastructure was constructed in 1940 is deteriorating. The system is mostly cast and ductile iron pipe. 
 
The city needed to replace approximately 23,000 ft. (4.01 km) of its undersized and deteriorated 6 (152.4mm) to 8 in. (203.3 mm) cast and ductile iron water mains and install 4,000 ft. (1.2 km) of new main. This aged and undersized system had a history of breaks. 
 
This was the largest pre-chlorinated static pipe bursting project ever completed in North America.
 
Lawlor, J., (2010). Starting from Zero- A Case Study in Building a Proper Public Works Facility
Found in Reporter July 2012


Building a proper Public Works Facility requires a sound design and the consensus of the community. A well planned and constructed public works facility enhances the agency’s operational effectiveness and projects a positive, professional image to the community. Too many public works agencies occupy facilities that are not designed properly for their intended purpose. Residing in such facilities does not help promote public works as a profession, rather an afterthought. In order to ensure a proper public works facility design, the agency must be properly defined, a complementary project team must be created, the site for the facility must be selected and the concept of this undertaking must be sold to all of the community decision makers. The City of Waterbury, Connecticut has undergone the process to create a public works facility that is properly planned to support the agency’s purpose, and properly constructed to further ensure operational functionality.

Marcotte, J.  (2011). A paradigm shift towards a cap and trade-based solid waste system. 
Found in Reporter September 2011

Under current solid waste disposal practices it is not possible to implement a zero waste reduction. By maintaining the status quo of waste management, vital resources are being consumed and the environment is being managed in an unsustainable way.  Policies regulating industrial development encourage the rapid conversion of resources from raw material to product and then to waste.

What is proposed in this paper is to implement a cap and trade on waste production, a system that is similarly based on the cap and trade system on carbon. To set in place a cap and trade program, Congress would enact legislation to establish an economy-wide cap on solid waste, measured in metric tons, and the cap would be tightened over time based on population, efficiencies and the economy of individual states. The Environmental Protection Agency would then auction “waste allowances” that correspond to the level of the waste cap.

Milam, F.  (2012). Curbside Recycling in America: Peer-Pressure in Public Works. 
Found in Reporter January 2012

Throughout America, pricey curbside recycling programs (CRPs) are now as ubiquitous as the relatively inexpensive bike racks on transit busses and computers in public libraries – a “must have” amenity that competitive communities often use to promote their progressiveness with.  This paper provides an overview of the current status of residential recycling initiatives, considers whether these programs are always in the public interest, and discusses the extent that legislation, politics, and costs drive the policies that underscore their implementation.  Further, it explores the microeconomic notions of willingness-to-pay and returns-to-scale alongside the important policy development and implementation concept of issue-framing and the related determination of  societal factors that may cause people to react to frames in particular ways.  Then, the designs of various CRPs are contrasted and program rationality is considered in the contexts of a lack of comprehensive cost-benefit analysis and the presence of pressing global waste management concerns.  Lastly, one is left to consider whether CRPs are the obvious environmental imperative they are often regarded as and if unevaluated continuation may be a drain on public works resources.

Selin, R. (2011).  Water Leak Billing Adjustment Policy:  City of Austin & General Guidelines
Found in Reporter September 2011
The City of Austin has policies that allow for utility account billing adjustments for water leaks. Management is concerned that the current policy is too liberal and generous, undermining the goals of local water conservation efforts and weakening the financial position of the utility. The utility would benefit from implementing common practices utilized by utilities and municipalities across the nation to improve the strength and control of the current City of Austin customer water leak adjustment policy.

There are two main objectives of this paper: to provide information and recommendations that are specifically tailored to the City of Austin, and to create a set of general water leak adjustment policy guidelines/considerations that can be utilized and applied by other municipalities/utilities that are seeking to tweak existing policies or create new policies. In addition, the effects that ineffectively designed policies can have on financial positioning and water conservation will be discussed.

Skolnik,  J.  (2010).  Price Indexing in Transportation Construction Contracts.   Jack Faucett Associates for Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and NCHRP 20-07/Task 274 – Research for ASHTO Standing Committee on Highways.
Found in Reporter September 2011

When market prices of cement, steel, asphalt, fuel or other commodities used in transportation infrastructure construction are increasing, state departments of transportation (DOTs) will typically be faced with demands from their contractors that price indexing or cost escalation clauses be incorporated into construction contracts. The objectives of this research were to describe the current state of practice in using price indexing or cost escalation clauses in construction contracts and provide guidance for agency staff making decisions about whether and how such clauses should be used.  The research was intended to review primarily the experiences of those DOTs that have used price indexing or cost escalation clauses, but considered also other available data that illustrates the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of these practices.  The research study provides agencies with guidance for judging if indexing and escalation clauses are warranted, whether the benefits an agency may gain using such clauses outweigh the costs, and how best to implement indexing.

Zang, Y., Bigham, J., Li, Z., Ragland, D., and Chen, X. (2012). Associations between Road Network Connectivity and Pedestrian-Bicyclist Accidents
Found in Reporter July 2012

It has been extensively accepted that the road network connectivity can positively impact the propensity and duration of non-motorized travel. But its impact on non-motorist traffic safety is still under debate: on one side, well-connected road network could lead more through traffic into the core area of a region so that pedestrians and bicyclists would be more frequently exposed to conflicts with cars; on the other side, it could be safer when vehicle speed is slowed down by dense intersections and drivers are forced to concentrate on surroundings by active walking and bicycling. This debate stimulates the paper to estimate the associations between road network connectivity and pedestrian-bicyclist crashes. Four commonly utilized connectivity measures including block density, intersection density, street density, and mean block length are calculated based on the road networks of 321 census tracts in Alameda County, California. Then the four measures together with other factors like traffic behavior, land use, transportation facility, and demographic feature are employed separately in a spatial statistical model called geographically weighted regression. Conclusions are: first, the decrease of pedestrian-bicyclist accidents is significantly related to higher block density, higher intersection density, higher street density, and shorter mean block length; second, compared with the other three connectivity measures, street density is better for modeling because of its higher stability and stronger explanatory ability; third, employing street network, traffic behavior, and transportation facility data into the same model can produce the best model fitness.