POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – The town of Pocatello has won a handful of awards this year from the American Public Works Association (APWA) Conference.
When deciding which city will receive an award, APWA considers how the project improves quality of life, solves a community problem, reduces government costs, and increases city services with minimal additional expense.
The APWA serves professionals in all aspects of public works – a fact that sets it apart from other organizations and makes it an effective voice for public works across North America. With a worldwide membership of over 30,000 members. APWA includes not only local, county, state/province, and federal agency personnel, but also private sector personnel who provide products and services to these professionals. APWA membership is open to any individual, agency or cooperation with an interest in public works and infrastructure issues.
The City of Pocatello staff members highlighted for their contributions to relevant projects are:
Northgate Interchange Public-Private Partnership (2019): Merril Quayle, Public Works Development Engineer; Jeff Mansfield, director of public works and municipal engineer
What was once a futuristic pipe dream of an interchange connecting the outskirts of Chubbuck to Pocatello is now a fully operational reality thanks to a public-private partnership (P3). With funding provided by: City of Pocatello, City of Chubbuck, Bannock County, Idaho Department of Transportation, Pocatello Development Authority, and Millennium Development, the Northgate Interchange was completed 15 years earlier than the master plans suggested. The project cost over $12 million and lasted just over two years. This project was made possible through the innovative cooperation of officials at the state, county and city levels, as well as the private sector.
Groundbreaking for the project took place on September 14, 2017, and the project was completed on December 6, 2019. The Northgate project is expected to open development access for a future planned community called The Northgate District. The original project included the interchange, new homes, a retirement community, a medical campus, a 1 million square foot technology park, and retail stores.
The Northgate interchange was the largest public/private partnership ever in Idaho. The design of the project took place in eight months, which is unprecedented for this scale of a project. By comparison, the design of the Fort Hall interchange took two years. The interchange opened nearly a year after construction began on the date.
Based on statistics provided by the Idaho Department of Transportation, after the interchange was only open for one month, there was an average of 4,000 cars per day using it (2020).
This use demonstrates the need for an alternative route. Overall, the bridge is 174 feet long, over 108 feet wide, and features three turning bays, four walkways, and a 10-inch multi-purpose path. The Northgate Interchange is expected to meet traffic demands over the next 20 to 30 years. The structure itself, if properly maintained, should last at least 75 years.
Pocatello Creek Restoration Project: Hannah Sanger, Head of the Science and Environment Division; Austin Suing, Project Engineer
In 2018, the City of Pocatello’s Department of Science and Environment received a flood management grant available through the Idaho Water Resources Board, for flood damage along Pocatello Creek , which eroded sidewalks, power lines, fences, irrigation structures and a sanitary sewer. double. With public health issues looming, the City decided this was a priority project. These problems had been caused by the channeling of the stream and the proliferation of large, invasive trees that fell into the stream and redirected the flow to adjacent highly erosive soils.
In 2019, the City of Pocatello selected Biota Inc. to design bio-engineered bank stabilization treatments and TDX Power Services to construct the project. Overall, the cost of the project was just over $65,000.
A total of 175 feet of shoreline was stabilized and approximately 800 willow cuttings were planted. Using a dozen volunteers to cut the willows reduced costs and gave the community an opportunity to engage in this stream restoration project.
NAPA Parts Store: Tom Kirkman, Deputy Director of Public Works; Teresa Caudill, Fleet Manager
Technical and Management Innovation Award for the Auto Parts Store in the City of Pocatello; meet the vehicle and equipment parts needs of the City of Pocatello
The City of Pocatello’s Public Works Department has taken great steps to consolidate operations and find efficiencies where possible. As part of these efforts, the City’s Fleet Service was created in 2019 to streamline repair services for City vehicles and equipment. Previously, auto parts inventories, as well as vehicle/equipment repairs were decentralized – filled by individual departments or sent to outside repair shops.
The city’s Fleet Services Department set up an on-site auto parts store in March 2020, known as Integrated Business Solutions, powered by NAPA. The City used Sourcewell, a joint cooperative purchasing program, to supply this service.
The store serves the city’s mechanics from inside the Public Works Annex Building, which houses the city’s street, fleet, and sanitation departments. However, almost all of the city’s ~600 vehicles and equipment are serviced here.
The store provides a full parts inventory and a full-time employee, as well as technical support, customer support, and more. at the administrative level.
The store has also saved the city an immeasurable amount of upfront inventory costs. The store purchases and maintains the City’s inventory of parts at its expense and only bills the City for parts as they are removed from the shelf. Previously, city mechanics bought parts in bulk when possible in an effort to save money. But, if these loose parts were not used, they simply sat on the shelf, becoming obsolete. Now, the City’s parts store closely manages parts inventory and purchases parts as needed, reducing wastage of materials and money.
Pocatello Old Town Connection Trial Project: Merril Quayle, civil engineer; Maggie Clark, Project Manager
Project of the Year, Under $1 Million
The Old Town Connection Trial project connects 1st Driveway to 2n/a Avenue via a pedestrian path, further improving connectivity and walking in the city. The trail extends the connection between the community east of the Union Pacific Railroad, the already existing City Creek trail system, and the Portneuf Greenway trail system.
The Old Town Connection Trail required funding from three different sources. The City of Pocatello has applied for grants from the IFFT Foundation, Idaho Parks and Recreation Foundation, and Leadership Pocatello. Additionally, funding was sought through various local businesses and non-profit organizations. The City worked with Idaho State University to secure grants to paint the path, bridge columns, and abutment. The project enhances the historic warehouse district by converting an unused right of way into a connecting passageway full of art, history and community value.
On May 19, 2021, crews began work on the Old Town Connection Trail. The 300-foot-long, 10-foot-wide non-motorized trail runs along the north side of the Benton Street Bridge and connects 1st Avenue South to 2nd Avenue South. The Old Town Connection Trail has been paved throughout, is lighted, and serves as a connecting link in the Portneuf Greenway Trail network.
The cost to build the trail is $65,259 and it is funded by a $24,500 grant from the Idaho State Department of Parks and Recreation, a $10,000 grant from the IFFT Foundation, and 10 $649 from municipal and in-kind labor funds, as well as federal sources.