Public works professionals from around the globe will converge at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, for the 2009 American Public Works Association (APWA) International Public Works Congress and Exposition, to be held Sept. 13-16.

Often referred to as “The Best Show in Public Works,” the congress promises to deliver four days of compelling educational programming, workshops and professional networking to the 5,000 or more professionals who will attend. They will take home cutting-edge content and solutions that they can put to work in their own agencies.

“The theme for this year's APWA Congress is ‘2009: A Year of Change,’” said APWA Executive Director Peter King. “Not only will attendees be able to see the latest updates in public works infrastructure products in the exposition this year, they will also look at the changes taking place in public works through training and networking opportunities, and our general sessions will highlight the economic landscape, personal development, resource efficiency and sustainability, as well as leadership communications.”

Attendees will have many opportunities to learn about pressing public works issues and concerns at 116 technical education sessions. Some of the scheduled session topics include: construction management; emergency management; engineering and technology; green/environment/sustainability management; parks and grounds; solid waste; snow and ice; streets/roads/bridges; water/wastewater and stormwater/flood control.

For their participation, attendees are eligible to earn CEU credits, the nationally accepted measure of participation in continuing education activities.

The Public Works Stormwater Summit is taking place at the Congress and will feature a keynote presentation from the U.S. Geological Survey on “Recent Trends in Urbanization and Water Quality in the U.S.,” as well as three presentations about stormwater program funding mechanisms.

On Wednesday, Sept. 16, APWA is offering three workshops/onsite demonstrations where attendees will not only receive education and information about the topic, but they also will get the chance to see the project during an onsite visit. The sessions include:

  • Changing Fleet Maintenance to Fleet Management

    The program includes a tour of Columbus' recently constructed $27 million fleet facility. Besides the facility tour, attendees will learn about the city's technician training programs that have led to a safer work environment and greater accountability.

  • The Main Street Bridge: Bridge Design with an Incline

    Attendees can participate in a workshop and tour of Columbus' Main Street Replacement Bridge construction site. When completed, the bridge will consist of a single-ribbed arch inclined at a 10-degree angle to gracefully span the Scioto River and provide the city with a new aesthetic symbol. Attendees will learn how the project is being funded and the bridge's complex design issues.

  • Two Way is the New Way! Creating a Pedestrian Friendly Street

    Congress attendees will examine Columbus' Gay Street two-way conversion project from design through construction. Included in the project were better pedestrian access, landscaped medians, decorative street lighting, and sewer and water line improvements. The accelerated $6.8 million project was designed within a year and substantially built within one construction season.

Several of the 440 exhibiting companies will deliver presentations on a variety of topics, including:

  • How to Identify and Eliminate Manhole Chimney Area Leakage

  • Developing a Waste-to-CNG Project

  • LED Lighting in Outdoor Applications, and

  • High-Tech/Low-Impact: The Future of America's Sidewalks

Former U.S. Senator John E. Sununu is the keynote speaker at the opening session on Sunday, Sept. 13. As a previous member of the TARP oversight panel and former member of Congress, Sununu will speak about the current economy, financial and regulatory reform, as well as the science and the impact of climate and technological change.

Other APWA Congress keynote speakers will delve into topics of current interest to public works infrastructure professionals, including Larry Winget, who is "The Pitbull of Personal Development," and a financial guru to many, because of his television series A&E's "Big Spender." Winget will speak about "How to STOP Getting By and Start Getting Ahead." Winget will offer his thoughts during the Monday, Sept. 14 general session.

Bob Berkibile, FAIA, and principal at BNIM Architects, will speak on "Infrastructure for the 21st Century — This Could Be Our Finest Hour" during the Tuesday, Sept. 15 general session. Among his current projects with BNIM is the creation and implementation of the Greensburg, Kan., Sustainable Comprehensive Plan, which the town implemented after it was almost completely devastated by a tornado.

On Wednesday, Sept. 16, the keynote speaker will be "Jungle Jack" Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo. Hanna will speak about his hands-on approach and insights into wildlife appreciation, which has earned him popular acclaim for his numerous appearances on "Good Morning America," "Larry King Live" and "The Late Show with David Letterman." He will bring along some animal ambassadors to represent their cousins in the wild during his presentation.

For more information on the 2009 APWA International Public Works Congress and Exposition, visit, circle 120 on the Reader Service Card or visit


APWA Congress and Expo
Sept. 13-16 Columbus, Ohio

Expo Hours:

Sept. 13, Noon - 4 p.m.

Sept. 14, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Sept. 15, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Noncompete Expo Hours:

Sept. 13, Noon - 2 p.m.

Sept. 14, 10 - 10:30 a.m. and Noon - 2 p.m.

Sept. 15, 10:50 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.