Leon County receives state-wide awards from American Public Works Association

Special to the Outlook

Leon County Government earned two state-wide Project of the Year awards from Florida’s American Public Works Association for construction completed in both 2020 and 2021. 

The association awards spotlight exceptional projects that achieved goals within budget, while exceeding public expectations. Leon County received a 2020 award for work in Woodside Heights and a 2021 award for the Meridian Road Drainage Improvement Project. The award-winning projects are now eligible to compete for national recognition.

“Both of the county’s award-winning projects improve lives as well as infrastructure,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Bill Proctor. “Specifically, the Woodside Heights project replaces failing septic tanks with central sewer to ensure southern Leon County residents have a cleaner, safer future.”

Meridian Road Drainage Improvement Project is vital to the infrastructure in northern Leon County.

Heavy rain has historically caused water to run over Meridian Road and created hazardous conditions in the area. To reduce flooding, Leon County improved drainage by installing large box culverts to move water beneath the roadway. Such improvements are also expected to reduce soil erosion, improving the health of adjacent wetlands and Lake Jackson.

Woodside Heights Wastewater Retrofit Project is essential to helping reduce the number of failing septic tanks in southern Leon County and thereby improve water quality, the County constructed over 2.6 miles of sewer and nearly 0.9 mile of sewage force main. The pump station constructed was designed to accommodate not only the existing developed area in Woodside Heights and adjacent subdivisions, but also a planned future residential development of more than 200 homes.

“State-wide recognition truly highlights how the County’s collaborative approach with area residents, state agencies and expert contractors makes infrastructure that will serve generations,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long.

The APWA Awards Program promotes excellence in the management and administration of public works projects by recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the consultant/architect/engineer and the contractor who accomplished the projects together. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, awards for construction completed in 2020 and 2021 were presented this year.

To be selected for a Project of the Year award, eligible projects are measured on seven criteria against national standards and other state-wide projects. Some criteria include construction management techniques such as staying on schedule, safety procedures for both workers and the public, special consideration of environmental factors and use of sustainable practices. 

The American Public Works Association is a non-profit international, educational and professional association of public agencies, private companies, and individuals dedicated to improving the quality of life for communities through public works projects and services.