~ Springfield, a bustling city in the heart of the United States, is gearing up to celebrate National Public Works Week from May 19-25. This annual event aims to recognize and honor the hard work and dedication of Public Works and Environmental Services professionals who play a vital role in maintaining the city's public health, quality of life, and overall well-being.

According to Errin Kemper, Director of Environmental Services, Public Works Week is an opportunity to celebrate the tireless efforts of these talented professionals who work behind the scenes to ensure essential services and infrastructure are in place for the community. "No matter what is going on in our community, these folks are working quietly in the background to ensure essential quality of life services and infrastructure is there," says Kemper.

The theme for this year's National Public Works Week is "Advancing Quality of Life for All," which recognizes how public works professionals contribute to creating healthier, happier, and more vibrant communities. These professionals provide a wide range of services such as transportation, water management, wastewater treatment, stormwater management, maintenance of public buildings and spaces, emergency response, solid waste management, and right-of-way management.

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To showcase their achievements and contributions to the city, Springfield has released its 2023 Public Works Annual Report. The report highlights the department's accomplishments over the past year and includes a breakdown of their budget for fiscal year 2023. It also provides details on roadway crash data and ongoing infrastructure improvement projects.

Dan Smith, Director of Public Works, expresses his excitement about sharing their accomplishments through this annual report. "This is a great way for each of our divisions to tell their story and celebrate the services provided, projects completed and the many jobs well done throughout the year," says Smith.

In Springfield, traditional public works responsibilities are divided between two departments - Public Works and Environmental Services. The Public Works Department oversees engineering services, transportation systems, stormwater management, and maintenance of facilities and grounds. They manage over 1,770 lane miles of roadway, 141 traffic signals, and the construction of new infrastructure. They also take care of the city's cemetery and maintain over 20,000 public trees and hundreds of acres of right-of-way.

On the other hand, the Environmental Services department focuses on protecting the city's natural resources and citizens' quality of life by managing wastewater, stormwater, and solid waste. They ensure efficient flow in 1,200 miles of sewer mains to two award-winning treatment plants that treat 44 million gallons of wastewater daily. The department also manages the disposal of 1,130 tons of trash per day at Springfield's Noble Hill Sanitary Landfill and operates three recycling collection centers that divert nearly 3,900 tons of recyclable waste from landfills each year. Additionally, they run various programs to prevent urban pollution from entering local streams and lakes.

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Both departments have a long-standing reputation for leadership, innovation, and environmental stewardship. In fact, in 2021 they collectively achieved reaccreditation from the American Public Works Association (APWA) with a perfect score. This accreditation certifies that they meet all national best management practices in the public works industry - a distinction achieved by only 1% of communities across the country. During this process, eight items in Springfield were highlighted as "model practices" to be shared with other communities nationwide. This is not the first time Springfield has received this recognition; they first achieved accreditation in June 2013.

National Public Works Week has been celebrated since 1960 by the American Public Works Association to educate and raise awareness about the importance of public works in our daily lives. According to, this event continues to grow each year with more municipalities participating and spreading awareness about the value and necessity of public works projects throughout North America.

As we celebrate National Public Works Week, let us take a moment to appreciate the hard work and dedication of these professionals who play a crucial role in making our communities better places to live and work.

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