PEORIA, Ariz. (May 7, 2009) – A suggestion by an employee in Peoria’s
Streets Division recently saved the city almost $50,000, sped up a road project
and reduced the use of raw materials.
This being Public
Service Recognition Week – a yearly opportunity to celebrate the everyday work
of public servants and the invaluable roles they play – we present this story as
symbolic of the many unheralded contributions made by city employees.
Because the widening of
Thunderbird Road included moving the curb and sidewalks, the traffic-signal
poles had to be replaced with larger poles and longer mast arms. Streets
Supervisor Donnie Gauthier suggested that, instead of scrapping the old
equipment, the city look for opportunities to reuse it.
It didn’t take long.
Traffic engineers found
ways to reuse the materials for traffic signals at 103rd and Northern avenues,
saving Peoria about $36,000, and 83rd Avenue and Deer Valley Road, saving the
city about $12,000. That is because signal poles usually must be custom built to
the specifications of a particular intersection.
Gauthier says there is
no down side to reusing the poles. “As long as the light turns, red, yellow,
green, you’re not going to notice,” he said.
Reusing the poles also
saved time because it can take up to 12 weeks to have a pole fabricated.
“By using the salvaged
poles, we were able to accelerate the construction schedule and keep the traffic
moving,” says Associate Engineer Karl Zook, who managed the Deer Valley project.
It was no coincidence
that Gauthier was eyeballing the old Thunderbird Road poles. Peoria already has
been reusing such materials for smaller projects, such as fixing equipment
damaged by errant drivers.