Public works professionals help maintain our growing community’s outstanding quality of life

By Caroline Ask, Solid Waste Division Manager

Most of us take for granted that our trash will be picked up on time, our drinking water will be clean, and our public facilities will be adequately maintained. But College Station’s public works infrastructure, facilities, and services wouldn’t be possible without dedicated public works professionals.

This week marks the 63rd annual National Public Works Week, which celebrates the thousands of men and women across the United States and Canada who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services known as public works. This year’s theme, “Connecting the World Through Public Works,” highlights how Public Works connects us through infrastructure and service to enhance our community’s quality of life.

Our nationally accredited Public Works Department is represented by 122 superheroes dedicated to providing us with safe and well-maintained roads, effective storm drainage systems, and superb solid waste collections. They also maintain city facilities and our fleet of vehicles.

Here’s a breakdown of the high-level services we provide in a typical year:

  • Manage 102,406 assets throughout the city with geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Maintain more than 356 centerline miles of asphalt and concrete roadways and 236 miles of sidewalks.
  • Complete about 50 street maintenance projects and sweep 5,334 linear miles of roadway.
  • Maintain 250 miles of drainage ways, including 110 miles of storm sewer pipes, 1,100 junction boxes, and 4,000 storm inlets.
  • Maintain 124 public landscape areas and more than 2,500 trees.
  • Service more than 700 vehicles and equipment for city departments, completing thousands of work orders.
  • Collect 97,047 tons of municipal solid waste from 41,267 accounts with 29 collection vehicles.
  • Divert 25,712 tons of materials for recycling and 2,541 tons of brush for mulch and compost.
  • Manage 1,384 dumpsters, 594 automated containers, and 27,166 residential cans.
  • Collect 2,650 lbs. of litter to clean up 155 linear miles by managing the Adopt-A-Street program with volunteer organizations.
  • Complete 250 traffic project reviews and maintained an exit flow from Kyle Field of under 2½ hours.
  • Maintain 92 traffic signals and 75 school zone flashers.
  • Maintain over 15,000 roadway signs and more than 160 miles of traffic lines and pavement markings.

In Public Works, each day brings new opportunities to connect with our community and enhance our residents’ and visitors’ quality of life. So, if you see our team members in a maroon solid waste truck or on a bulldozer, give us a wave.

Happy National Public Works Week!

About the Blogger

Caroline Ask is in her sixth year with the city and her second as the solid waste division manager. She previously served as an engineering program specialist and environmental inspector and held environmental health positions at Texas A&M and Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital. She earned a bachelor’s degree in bioenvironmental sciences from A&M in 2012.

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