City Takes National Public Works Week Celebration to Young Students

Press release from City Utilities:

Above, Below and All Around
Public Works Makes a Difference – $100 Million in 2010 Improvements
City Takes National Public Works Week Celebration to Young Students

(May 20, 2010) – In celebration of National Public Works Week, Mayor Tom Henry and workers from the Public Works and City Utilities departments displayed a variety of work vehicles for students at Franke Park Elementary. Staff members explained how the vehicles like a street sweeper, plow truck, vacuum truck and sewer televising truck are used in everyday City activities.

“Whether it’s new roads, sidewalks or lighting that create safer and stronger neighborhoods, or pipes that provide more reliable water and sewer service, Public Works projects touch our lives every day. I’m glad we had this opportunity to visit with students at Franke Park because it’s never too early to learn about the importance of the work done by Public Works,” said Mayor Tom Henry.

Fort Wayne’s Public Works projects fall under both the Public Works Department, which maintains streets, curbs, sidewalks, trails and lighting, and City Utilities, which builds, maintains and rehabs, water, sewer and storm pipes, and treats water and sewage. The departments plan, design, build, operate and maintain transportation, water supply, sewage and refuse disposal systems that are essential to our quality of life, security and the economy.

“It’s a win-win with public works projects. Not only do we improve neighborhoods, we are also creating jobs and those local contractors that are hired not only earn a salary but they turn around and spend that money in the community,” said Mayor Henry.

A good example of how these projects boost the economy is the St. Joe Center Road widening, lighting, sidewalk and storm sewer project completed last fall. 80% of the $7.9 million dollar project was funded with Federal Urban Fund dollars. The City’s investment was about $1.6 million but the return on that investment for the local economy was more than $3.2 million. That’s money that came back into the community in the form of salaries paid to construction workers during the two year project period.
Last year Public Works and City Utilities created nearly 900 jobs with more than $50 million dollars in projects.

This year, with increased funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the City will invest nearly $100 million dollars in the City’s infrastructure.

The theme of this year’s National Public Works Week is “Above, Below and All Around You” to signify that Public Works projects are everywhere you look.

Maintaining and building infrastructure that improves the quality of life in a community is what Public Works does for citizens. Whether it’s plowing snow, paving streets, installing street lights, water mains or sewer pipes, building sidewalks, or building flood solutions, the Public Works projects are visible and vital to every community.

2010 Quick Glance by Numbers

  • Nearly 60 miles of road will be paved or asphalt reconstructed
  • More than 5 miles of trails will be constructed
  • Nearly 3 miles of sidewalks will be constructed
  • More than 20 miles of sewer, water and storm pipe will be constructed

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