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Publisher’s Note: September 2021

Hello Readers, in print and online,

Summer 2021 slips into fall with a bang and a roar; wildfires burning out of control in the West, flood surges, wind damage and massive harm to infrastructure and public works, due to weather related losses in the East, as our much ballyhooed bi partisan infrastructure bill lies teetering on the edge of oblivion, as congress dithers, painting us a rosy picture indeed. 

Almost the only positive aspect of Hurricane Ida and its 170 MPH wind damage and storm surge has been the lower-than-expected loss of life, as the huge storm system menaced the Gulf Coast, with New Orleans taking the massive first hit. The levees seemed to hold this time around, although water did get over the top of some of them. Most of Ida’s damage is wind related, with huge losses to the power grid and buildings, including hospitals. We are told as long as 8 weeks expected to restore power to parts of New Orleans, which is terrible.  

It is very difficult to plan for such extraordinary damages. The weather models don’t always allow for consideration of category 4 storms of this magnitude, although quite frankly they should. Welcome to our ’new normal’ — every Public Works Director’s nightmare. 

Ironically, but not completely coincidentally, this issue of AI deals with sustainable themes and best practice. Our Interviewee is Anthony Kane, CEO of the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). This Washington DC based organization was jointly founded in 2010 by the APWA, ASCE and ACEC, as an educational non profit and think tank on infrastructure specific matters. Our three senior public works officials representing the cities of Baltimore, Denver and Los Angeles share their departments approaches to sustainability, municipal management and infrastructure. Our Governor’s Message this month is from Wisconsin’s Tony Evers. Gov. Evers talks about the infrastructure wins and sustainability initiatives the Wisconsin Governor’s office has brought forward under his term.

Our editorial advisory committee has suggested we introduce sustainability as it pertains to public works, municipal management and infrastructure as a regular component of our content in the magazine, on the website and the e-newsletter, we are pleased to share this important subject and we look forward to introducing additional resources for you. 

Our 2021 Materials Preference Brand Survey is now live on our platforms. We encourage you to vote for the materials you prefer to use in your own projects. Yes, it is okay to vote for your own brands! We select winners at random to send Home Depot gift cards, at the conclusion of the survey in October. The winners will be announced and showcased within the annual awards themed Holiday edition and online. 

Work hard, keep your powder dry, enjoy the pretty Fall season and as always, thank you for the privilege of your readership. 


Nick Slevin