A public works professional browses APWA publications aimed at providing insights and solutions

Public Works Insights & Solutions

APWA provides the following papers as a service to our members, who work hard to improve the quality of life for the residents of their communities. The papers are contributed by advertisers and aim to provide solutions to public works professionals.

Interested in being a part of APWA's Public Works Insights & Solutions? Contact Fox Associates at adinfo.apw@foxrep.com.


A cover image of Cartegraph's Preserve Your Pavement

Preserve Your Pavement: A Public Works Road Map to Data-Driven Budgeting

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Your street and roadway network represents your biggest, most expensive asset. In fact, the commitment to repair and preserve your pavement can demand up to 20 percent of your annual resurfacing budget. But, according to the Infrastructure Report Card, U.S. roads have a significant and increasing backlog of rehabilitation needs.

So what’s the best way to make the most of your pavement budget while preserving the life of those valuable streets and roadways?

Download this white paper now to uncover:

  • The importance and benefits of a pavement management system
  • A 7-step approach to putting your pavement data to work
  • How to choose the right solution to meet current and future needs
  • 5 sets of budget and condition-based analyses that fuel data-driven pavement decisions

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A cover image of Cartegraph's Thinking Beyond Asset Management

Thinking Beyond Asset Management: A Guide for Public Works

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As a public works professional, a lot is resting upon your shoulders. The work you perform and the decisions you make directly impact the quality of life of your citizens. And, while your residents don’t necessarily know what it takes to maintain millions of dollars in infrastructure—you do. But the hard truth is that many public works departments today are struggling to keep up.

This white paper will help your organization better understand modern operations management—what it is, why it works—and begin thinking about implementing its strategies and technologies to become more effective, efficient, and productive for your citizens.

Download your free guide now to answer questions like:

  • How can my public works crew become more efficient?
  • What asset management best practices should I be following?
  • How can my team make smarter, data-driven decisions about our infrastructure?
  • What 7 traits should I look for in an operations management system?
  • How can my team help build a stronger, more resilient community?

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A cover image of Bergkamp's Electric vs. Propane white paper

Electric vs. Propane

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Bergkamp logo

What’s the best power source for heating asphalt? For truck-mounted pothole patchers, it generally comes down to electric versus propane. This white paper explores safety, cost, efficiency, practicality, and environmental impact, of both—concluding electric is the better option. Safety: With regular inspection, maintenance, and proper use, both propane and electric heaters can be relatively safe to use. But there is less fear of a malfunction in an electric heater. Cost: Since this is a major consideration, the paper goes beyond a cursory look at cost-per-unit of energy to consider the initial purchase cost of equipment, the cost of maintenance, eventual replacement, and cost of daily power consumption. Efficiency: The evidence shows most fossil-fuel-fired burners operate at 80 to 85 percent efficiency when new, while an electric-powered heater operates at 100 percent and lasts longer. Practicality: It is widely believed that a propane heater can get up to temperature faster than electric heat. The paper explains why the difference is minimal and largely irrelevant. Environmental Impact: Electricity is a cleaner source of energy in almost all applications, when compared to fossil fuels, and can eliminate the need for expensive permits required to operate propane heaters.


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A cover image of American Highway Products' Reusable Manhole Safety Ramps report

Reusable Manhole Safety Ramps & Safety Ramps for Exposed Edges

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American Highway Products logo

The Overlooked Detail That Saves Time & Money on Roadway Milling Projects. Look at how big a problem is Vehicle Damage due to exposed utilities on Mill & Fill paving projects and the associated Liability to the Contractor, Municipality or State. Look at Inadequate Solutions such as signage, cones, paint, cold mix, and millings. Briefly go over 2 case studies looking at safety and savings.


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A cover image of American Highway Products' Custom Steel Inlet/Catch Basin Risers report

Custom Steel Inlet/Catch Basin Risers

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American Highway Products logo

Look at costs to raise Catch Basin/Inlet grates to grade by manually excavating the frame, resetting it and pouring concrete. Go over 3 Case Studies (WI DOT, NJ DOT, IL DOT) Interstate paving projects using Catch Basin/Inlet Risers. Look at pros and cons of Steel vs. Cast Iron Catch Basin/Inlet Risers (customizability/Fit, available riser heights, strength, weight, safety).


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A cover image of American Highway Products' Saving When Repaving report

Pivoted Turnbuckle Manhole Riser (MHR)

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American Highway Products logo

How to cut manhole raising costs by 81% and extend new pavement lifespan: Take a look at Kansas City Study on the Effect of Manholes on Street Condition. Analyze all the costs of raising manholes to grade when paving by taking a closer look at the labor and material costs associated with different methods. List the pros and cons of various manhole raising techniques. Take a look at features for in an ideal manhole rising product. Briefly look at 3 case studies.


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An image of a road and the title Evaluating Paved and Unpaved Road Design and Product Research

Evaluating Paved and Unpaved Road Design and Product Research

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Tensar logo

The mechanisms governing roadway performance are complex. Because roads are designed for long service lives under varying conditions, differences in performance which may seem small at first can be magnified over time and lead to premature failures. Diligent civil engineers and contractors can lower these risks by relying on quantitative data from laboratory and field tests to support their designs and select the right materials. The level of expertise required to properly conduct performance testing on both paved and unpaved roads is significant, and even those with extensive experience in this area need to be extremely diligent to make sure the data they publish and the conclusions they reach are valid. It’s critical that researchers follow established protocols such as those published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).


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An image illustrating the difference between Stabilization and Reinforcement

Stabilization vs. Reinforcement: What's the Difference?

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The terms "stabilization" and "reinforcement" are often used interchangeably when discussing geogrids used for civil engineering applications. However, there are key differences in their definitions that have far-reaching implications. In recent years, certification bodies have begun to recognize these differences, giving engineers the confidence that the products and systems they specify are fit for their intended purposes.


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A cover image of Cartegraph's Overcoming 5 Common Challenges Facing Facility Managers

Overcoming 5 Common Challenges Facing Facility Managers

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Your building and facility portfolio represent your community’s largest financial asset. It’s also your second-largest expense and one of your most significant long-term obligations. With so much on the line, even the smallest improvement to facility maintenance and management can result in higher-performing operations, financial savings, and a significant return on investment.

Grab this free guide now to better understand the top five issues facing facility managers today. Along the way, you’ll also uncover tips, tools, and best practices that will help your public works team overcome each of these challenges and thrive in the new normal.

Specifically, you’ll learn more about:

  • Reducing facility costs and maximizing facility revenues
  • Proactively maintaining deteriorating infrastructure assets
  • Destroying data silos and improving information integrity
  • Simplifying complex data to make smarter decisions, and
  • Protecting and engaging your employees and constituents

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A cover image of Cargill's Reducing Chlorides with Brine

Reducing Chlorides with Brine

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Cargill logo

The vision of this white paper is to focus on the concerns and solutions of protecting our environment by using brine within our winter maintenance efforts. The paper focuses on the effects of chlorides on the environment and how we can effectively reduce the risk of them moving forward. The paper also covers the best solutions and how to apply them to your program today.


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A cover image of Tensar's A True Comparison of Paving Mats

A True Comparison of Paving Mats

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Tensar logo

It can be very confusing when deciding among different fiberglass paving mats in the marketplace. Although they may appear to have similar physical properties when comparing technical data sheets, it's important to have an understanding of the composition of these products that make their performance very different.

To demonstrate and quantify various products' ability to resist cracks, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) conducted an overlay fracture performance study. The TTI testing captured the stress and strain improvement provided by interlayers and allowed for the calculation of an interlayer product's ability to resist reflective cracking. The CMF (Crack Mitigating Factor) quantifies the combined improvement of the reinforced asphalt vs. unreinforced asphalt in terms of dealing with both stresses and strains.


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A cover image of RFP Best Practices: How to develop a future-proofed AVL solicitation in 2021

RFP Best Practices: How to develop a future-proofed AVL solicitation in 2021

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Focus Fleet & Fuel Mgmt/TELUS logo

To properly assess an AVL or GPS telematics solution's current and future needs can be a daunting task for any City or Public Works department. At a minimum, you need to be sure the system you choose will be able to meet your current needs based on your infrastructure, budget, and available resources and assets. An even more critical requirement is that the solution and the provider you choose can meet the ever-growing needs of your organization and the citizens you serve. If you're new to the AVL Telematics RFP process for your city or county, developing an operational strategy from scratch can be terrifying. There are your requirements to consider plus those that you will require from your partner. That's where this whitepaper will prove useful. Technology is continually changing. What worked five years ago is likely not working today, which requires you to create a platform for change across your public works department. This whitepaper will guide you on building a vendor requirements solicitation that ensures you are future-proofing your city and acting in your citizens' best interest.


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A cover image of Cartegraph's Asset Management Basics Ebook and Worksheets: A Guide For Communities of All Sizes

Asset Management Basics Ebook and Worksheets: A Guide For Communities of All Sizes

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You know there must be an easier way to run your public works department with confidence and clarity. But, change can be daunting—so how and where do you begin? From crafting your municipal asset management strategy to performing your initial infrastructure inventory, this free ebook—complete with practice worksheets—will guide you every step of the way.

Claim your FREE eBook now to answer the following questions:

  • How do I build an asset management strategy for my community?
  • How do my current public works operations stack up?
  • Does my community really need a public works asset management system?
  • What 7 steps should I follow to select an asset management system?
  • Who else should be involved in the system selection process?
  • Why and how should I kick off an asset management pilot program?
  • What should I do to maintain my work and asset management system?

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Disclaimer: The papers featured on this page are sponsored by third-party companies (“Sponsor”), which have paid a fee to APWA for publication of their paper in APWA Public Works Insights & Solutions. The statements and opinions in the papers are those of the Sponsor. APWA assumes no responsibility for any such statements and/or opinions. By publishing the papers, APWA is not endorsing the Sponsor or any product or service mentioned in the papers. All inquiries regarding papers should be directed to the Sponsor.