The 6th Annual National Infrastructure Week launched into the public sphere on Monday, May 14th, 2018 in an effort to raise awareness and educate the American public about the importance of our nation’s infrastructure. Infrastructure Week recognizes the positive influence that sound infrastructure has on our economy, society, security and future. In Athens, Georgia we celebrate our public workers for their daily commitment to keeping Athens’ infrastructure in running order.
These graphics are just a handful of those created and disseminated by The Steering Committee, which is the backbone of Infrastructure Week.
National Infrastructure Week informs the general public on the need for renewed investment in American infrastructure and spreads the word that now is the #TimeToBuild. The Athens-Clarke County (ACC) Public Utilities Department recently completed a widespread initiative to replace the 100-year-old network of pipes under the Downtown Athens streets. In commemoration of National Infrastructure Week, the ACC Department of Transportation and Public Works, Stormwater Management Program, Streets and Drainage Division, Public Transit Department, Landscape Management Division, and Public Utilities Department spearheaded an effort to visit local schools and educate students about the behind-the-scenes heroes of Athens’ infrastructure. ACC employees rolled up to nine different schools in four fascinating work trucks and two tractors which they allowed students ranging in grades K-5 to tour.
The rolling truck tours not only enlightened students about the crucial work that goes unnoticed to keep our community running, but encouraged collective support for our public workers as we shift into National Public Works Week which occurs every fourth week of May. This annual awareness campaign takes place from May 20-26. The theme the national campaign this year is “The Power of Public Works,” and is set to highlight the importance and impact of the many facets of public works.
The ACC Public Utilities Camera Truck demonstrated how utility workers use technology to perform video inspections on new and existing sewer lines. ACC employees carry out these inspections to ensure the timely repair and maintenance of the hundreds of miles of sewer lines that service Athens-Clarke County.
Two ACC Transit employees presented to students at J.J. Harris Elementary School about the importance of public transportation during the rolling truck tour. Touring the bus was a hit with the students (and not just because it had air conditioning). Fun fact: Did you know that UGA students and Athens-Clarke County employees can ride any Athens Public Transportation bus for free?
Representatives from the ACC Landscape Management Division were also present to talk about their various roles within the community. It’s amazing how attentive a group of 16 kindergartners can be when a tractor is involved, but that attentiveness quickly turned into a stampede of excitement when the students were given the opportunity to climb inside the tractor.
The last truck featured on the rolling tour was a vacuum jetter truck. This truck uses the extendable arm you see in the picture to the left to keep storm drains free from debris like litter and yard waste, helping prevent an overflow of rainwater into the street.
As we move from Infrastructure Week into Public Works Week, remember to thank all of those public workers that you pass by! Athens and other communities would cease to function without the dedicated workers who keep our streets and water clean, and ensure that the city is running efficiently.