National Public Works Week

Public works is always there. Rain, hail, snow or shine, public works crews are dedicated to the job. They keep our cities and towns running so we can enjoy the essential services of the places we live and work. Since 1960, APWA has sponsored National Public Works Week. Across North America, our more than 29,000 …

Sustainable Civil Engineering

Earth day is just around the corner, and it is important that we make sustainable choices in the areas that we have influence in. I’m a big advocate of sustainable #engineering, and it is an area that I have some influence in, to the point where almost all of the major projects I work on …

Complexity and Obsolescence

“The chief cause of problems is solutions” – Eric Sevareid “Solutions are not the answer” – Richard Nixon “Solutions are not the answer” – Richard Nixon Click To Tweet In my role at the City of Revelstoke, I am confronted with years of amassed data, much of it in the City’s GIS system, but occasionally, …

Watermain Replacement

Among other things, one of my projects in the past month was pulling an old 40m water main out of a culvert under the Trans Canada Highway. We had no information on the condition of the culvert or exactly how the pipe was held together, we spent several utilities meetings working through possible solutions and problem-solving to find …

Infrastructure Inspections and Awareness

Or – Why Inspections are Fundamental to Asset Management Two engineering departments in the City of Honolulu have very different approaches to the same problem. The city does not have an inspection program for light poles, despite the fact that there are 51,000 street lights on the island. The city says it doesn’t have the …

Infrastructure, the Economy and Local Governments

Some of the greatest challenges that local governments face in Canada revolve around the concept of the “Infrastructure Deficit“. In Canada, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, (FCM) has a position statement on the infrastructure deficit: All governments – federal, provincial, territorial and municipal – must work together and with the private sector to make immediate infrastructure repairs …

62 Considerations for an Integrated Urban Design

As a civil engineer involved in municipal, development, and transportation; one of the most important concepts to remember is that of integrated urban design. Simplified, if just the traffic engineer was responsible for the design, roads might be large enough for the maximum projected traffic demand; if just the public works manager was responsible for …

Designing for Hazards – A Wall of Lake Ice

Who is responsible for determining the impact and designing to protect against manmade or natural disasters on your home or neighborhood? A local state of emergency has been declared in a western Manitoba municipality after homes in Ochre Beach were destroyed and seriously damaged by a wave of lake ice. Area officials told CBC News …