Earlier this year, Arapahoe County Public Works and Development (PWD) received accreditation from the American Public Works Association (APWA) for a second time—a feat that took a lot of hard work to achieve.
The accreditation process was a major highlight of 2021, as were accomplishments and awards achieved by the department’s divisions: Building, Engineering Services, Planning, Road and Bridge, Support Services and Transportation. These awards came on the heels of COVID and other big projects which kept the staff busy as they adjusted to hybrid work schedules and new ways of doing business.
Altogether, this work showcases how Public Works and Development remains committed to serving customers despite the many challenges of the past few years. To that point, “Ready and Resilient” is the theme of this year’s National Public Works Week, celebrated May 15-21.
“These are high-level accomplishments,” said Public Works and Development Director Bryan Weimer. “I thank all employees for all their service and commitment. We do a lot of great work for our customers and the County.”
APWA accreditation is a detailed process that includes reviewing, scrutinizing and updating 41 chapters that outline how the department conducts every facet of its operations and business practices. In total, staff outlined about 350 practices, which include topics such as safety training, utility coordination, street sweeping, land development and how the department interacts and engages with the public. An APWA review panel inspected these practices in February and accreditation was awarded in March. “APWA accreditation reflects the dedication and commitment from all the staff towards continued improvement and excellence,” Weimer said.
Some of the division's other 2021 accomplishments include:
- Building adopted new Code and Design Criteria for residential and commercial buildings that follow the 2021 editions of the various international building codes. The division also oversaw 38,000 building inspections and started an after-hours inspection program.
- Engineering Services adopted a new fee schedule for its permits and formulated agreements with Southeast Metro Stormwater Authority that outline responsibility for various services, avoiding duplication and improving operational efficiencies.
- Planning adopted new oil and gas regulations, along with approving 606,700 square feet of commercial development and 374 housing units. Planning also started the grant process to secure funding for a countywide water study that will begin this year.
- Road and Bridge placed a record 43,000 tons of asphalt on 60 centerline miles of County roads and replaced 1,258 traffic signs.
- Support services initiated a five-year plan to digitize records, provided support for the staff’s post-pandemic return to the office and completed 10 in-house surveying projects at a cost savings of $16,000.
- Last summer, Transportation completed the third partial continuous flow intersection in the state at Quincy Avenue and Gun Club Road. This project, which has alleviated congestion at the intersection, was recognized with an APWA Colorado Chapter award.
- Transportation also started a new $25 million improvement project at Iliff Avenue between South Parker Road and Quebec Street.
The APWA Colorado Chapter also granted individual awards to Weimer and Judy Ligrani in 2021. Weimer received the William E. Korbitz Award, which is given annually to an individual who displays the character, integrity and leadership of Korbitz, who was the first president of the Colorado APWA chapter. Ligrani, a 22-year Arapahoe County veteran, was recognized as its Professional Manager of the Year – Administrative Management. She was lauded for her work as the department’s APWA accreditation coordinator, and for many other tasks.
For more information about PWD and its accomplishments, check out its 2021 Community Report.