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2018 Public Works Conference Highlights

2018 Public Works Conference Highlights
Credit score: Arizona Builder’s Trade

By Tasha Anderson for Arizona Builder’s Change

It’s October, which — on the earth of public tasks — means the Capital Enchancment Plans are out for public viewing, and municipalities are planning for an additional fiscal yr of latest development, enlargement and upkeep. It’s additionally time for the third annual AZBEX Public Works Conference, the place attendees collect to realize perception into the general public sector and community with business professionals.

Greater than 200 attendees gathered on the DoubleTree by Hilton in Tempe on Thursday, October 18th, for a day of wanting into the present and future state of the general public sector… and naturally, completely happy hour.

Listed here are a few of the highlights of the afternoon’s program.

Prime Capital Packages and Public Sector Outlook

AZBEX President Rebekah Morris kicked off the afternoon by diving into an summary of the general public sector, together with the highest Capital Enchancment Packages and a procurement evaluation for Arizona.

Morris analyzed projected capital spending knowledge from Fiscal Yr 2013 via FY2018 and past to find that capital spending is growing, is more likely to maintain growing, and that publicly funded development has grown in significance to the general Arizona development market.

Morris then gave attendees a rundown of the Prime 10 Capital Enchancment Plans. Metropolis of Phoenix took the highest spot with a $5.6B complete plan, knocking the Arizona Division of Transportation’s plan out of the primary spot to quantity two at $four.9B.

After digging into every of the Prime 10 businesses’ CIPs and highlighting new tasks added to every, the conclusion was that there’s a shift within the forms of tasks that have been added; there are extra vertical buildings than transportation and water and wastewater tasks, and there’s a continued give attention to the upkeep of present buildings fairly than enlargement.

Morris ended the phase by discussing present market circumstances from procurement knowledge evaluation. She famous the variety of particular person contract alternatives shouldn’t be drastically altering from yr to yr, however bid costs have been growing.

“The bid prices are coming in over, and sometimes significantly over, the engineer’s estimate,” she stated.

Water and Wastewater

Credit score: Arizona Builder’s Trade

After the primary phase, Morris launched panelists, Patty Kennedy, deputy director of Wastewater Engineering with the Metropolis of Phoenix; Holly Rosenthal, deputy public works director with the Metropolis of Tempe; and Shuang Huang, principal engineer with the Metropolis of Glendale, together with Carollo VP Man Carpenter because the moderator, to debate the Water and Wastewater market sector.

Every panelist mentioned methods their municipality is planning for long run water wants, together with tasks for rehabilitating and changing getting old infrastructure.

Kennedy mentioned growing the Metropolis of Phoenix’s properly program by including 15 new wells and the potential of rehabilitating or changing pipes across the metropolis.

“We have pipes in the ground that are over a hundred years old, so as our infrastructure ages, we need to really look at a replacement or rehabilitation program,” stated Kennedy.

Rosenthal famous the Metropolis of Tempe’s asset administration program and mentioned the town’s approach of maintaining with enhancements to their water/wastewater crops.

“We’re building a more robust asset management program. We’re being more strategic. We’re being more methodical. We’re using a continuous improvement cycle of assessment of our assets, prioritization of the capital programs, implementation, then we do it all over again,” she stated.

Huang famous ongoing enhancements to the Metropolis of Glendale’s water remedy crops, together with $25M in enhancements towards the Pyramid Peak Water Remedy Plant famous on the town’s Capital Enchancment Plan.

The panelists additionally mentioned the significance of getting packages in place to satisfy future water wants.

“We need to make sure we have a good public perception… an industry is not going to want to move into an area where we don’t have an assured water supply, so we’re not going to drive industries to come to this area if we have the looming fear of water shortages,” stated Kennedy.

“We need to remain mindful of how we use water,” defined Rosenthal. “We need to be conscientious with our water conservation programs and make sure they’re robust and communicate and educate ongoing into the future.”

Ports of Entry

Luis Ramirez Thomas, president of Ramirez Advisors Inter-Nationwide, shared with attendees the continued points on the Ports of Entry, particularly, the shortage of area, the necessity for constructing modernization and to alleviate visitors congestion on the border.

Thomas mentioned the plan for a Two-Port answer on the Raul H Castro Port of Entry, which might modernize the prevailing amenities and relocate business visitors to a brand new facility.

“We’re two years into this and probably have another five or six years to go before that solution becomes a reality.”

Thomas additionally famous a have to modernize downtown Nogales because of the improve in visitors and pedestrian delays and the 40 % lower in retail.

“To modernize this, we’re looking at probably $300M-$400M if not more,” he stated.

Thomas mentioned extra points with poorly constructed infrastructure however hinted that there can be a number of potential enterprise alternatives for some attendees.

Fast Hits

The Metropolis of Chandler and the Metropolis of Mesa offered attendees with a quick account of what’s been happening and what’s arising of their areas.

Kim Moyers, downtown redevelopment supervisor for the Metropolis of Chandler mentioned how downtown Chandler has grown and highlighted upcoming tasks just like the Oregon Road Parking Storage, which was accredited by metropolis council on October 18th and is predicted to interrupt floor on October 31st.

Rob Kidder, assistant metropolis engineer with the Metropolis of Mesa, mentioned the addition of an almost $200M CIP bond package deal to the November poll and the plans for the bond.

If authorised, a few of the tasks to return out of that bond are:

  • Development of six athletic fields
  • Park facilities and shared-use paths
  • Cultural enhancements
  • Public security enhancements

In line with Kidder, $111M will go to Parks and Cultural whereas $85M will go towards Public Security.

Planning and Funding Transportation Tasks

Credit score: Arizona Builder’s Trade

The transportation panel of Dallas Hammit, state engineer/deputy director of the Arizona Division of Transportation; Eric Anderson, government director of Maricopa Affiliation of Governments; and Paul Basha, transportation director with the Metropolis of Scottsdale, together with moderator Melissa Boyles, shopper account supervisor with Jacobs Engineering, took the stage to debate long-range planning for transportation tasks.

One of many key takeaways from the phase was coping with unexpected progress and the way transportation all the time has to assume long-range.

“We need to be agile…Transportation is always long-range,” stated Basha. “We always have to think five to 20 years into the future. With land-use planning, developers, they measure their long-range planning in weeks… we can’t be entirely concerned about today, we have to consider the future.”

As regards to funding, Anderson famous the potential of accelerating cash for tasks by growing the fuel tax, and the way that tax has been sitting at 18 cents per gallon and hasn’t elevated since 1991.

One other main takeaway was the significance of latest know-how in relation to collaborating throughout State, Regional and Native ranges. The panelists all agreed using social media was key as a result of it helps them get an concept of the way to prioritize their wants and helps unfold the phrase about public remark dates and in-person conferences. Additionally they consider retaining the previous strategies of communication like in-person remark durations is necessary as a result of it retains the general public knowledgeable.

Creating and Delivering a Worth Assertion to House owners

The final panel of the afternoon mentioned how companies can do enterprise with house owners and what the businesses are in search of in the course of the procurement course of.

Panelists, Ginger Spencer, public works director for Metropolis of Phoenix; Susanna Struble, assistant city engineer/CIP supervisor for the City of Gilbert; and Monica Perrin, senior undertaking supervisor for Arizona State College, with moderator Patrice Miller, managing companion with RH Associates, took the stage to offer attendees perception into what every of them are wanting when choosing a agency for a challenge.

“We’re looking to you guys to say how can you think; how are you thinking, and how would you address any challenges that you see?” defined Struble. “We really want to have confidence as you move forward not only in the proposal process, but into the interview, that we are going to trust somebody that is able to carry that way from beginning through end of the project.”

“Bring something concrete,” stated Perrin. “Teach us something about our project that we didn’t know… it shows us that you’ve done your research, and that you really do understand the challenges and how you can actually make this project better.”

“Own up to your mistakes,” stated Spencer. “Reach out to the customer and make sure that you have a clear understanding of what the expectations are.”

The panelists have been additionally in settlement that, as a way to construct a relationship, they need to get to know the corporate, they usually encourage companies to return in and go to and to get on their annual RFP lists.

The subsequent AZBEX convention, January 10th, is all about forecasting development exercise for the subsequent few years. Go to for convention particulars or to register.

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