The Michigan Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) played host to the annual APWA North American Snow Conference, held in Grand Rapids, Mich., on April 12 through 15. The show attracted more than 1,500 snow and ice management professionals from local and state transportation, and public works departments from across United States and Canada.
Over the course of the three-day event, a number of educational sessions eligible for continuing education units were offered, covering a wide range of topics such as snow plow route optimization, staff management, traffic incident management and methods for managing salt usage.
Two technical tours also were part of the conference, the first being a trip to Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Michigan’s second largest airport. Winter maintenance is crucial at the airport, which serves more than 2 million passengers a year. With an average of 82 in. of annual snowfall, the airport’s in-house staff and contractors are challenged with maintaining 1.6 million sq. yd. of paved surfaces comprised of airfield, parking lots and 40-lane miles of roads.
The second technical tour was a visit to Kentwood’s Winter Operations & Truck Fabrication, where regional municipal and Michigan Department of Transportation representatives displayed their snow management equipment and discussed their collaborative approach toward winter maintenance.
The industry trade show provided attendees an opportunity to meet with representatives from nearly 200 vendors showcasing the latest products, equipment and services including snowplows and spreaders, deicing materials, road maintenance equipment, software systems, trucks, as well as compact and large equipment.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., the American Public Works Association is an international, not-for-profit organization serving a membership of more than 28,500 professionals involved in the field of public works. APWA promotes professional excellence and public outreach through education, advocacy and the sharing of ideas and knowledge.
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