Aug 20, 2008

Big Opportunities in the Big Easy

Public works professionals from across the globe have gathered at APWA’s Congress & Exposition for more than 100 years. For the 2008 event, the men and women who design, build, operate, manage and maintain the infrastructure that keeps our world spinning will learn, network and explore at New Orleans’ Convention Center from Sunday, Aug. 17, to Wednesday, Aug. 20.

As the host city continues to overcome—environmentally, economically and socially—the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, national and Louisiana chapter APWA staff have prepared a supporting conference focused on the spirit of renewal.


The 2008 APWA Congress & Exposition education sessions will cover the entire public works gamut—construction management, fleet services, snow and ice, utility and public right-of-way and all relevant topics in between.

Workshops, many of which focus on or pertain to the storm water industry, will be offered all four days of the event. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District project update will be offered on Monday morning, and local wetland and pumping station tours are set to take place early Wednesday.

Storm water professionals can also take advantage of Wednesday’s full-day Stormwater Summit, back by popular demand. Opening the summit and addressing today’s industry challenges and tomorrow’s solutions will be representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Infrastructure Initiative. During the afternoon session, Army Corps and Federal Emergency Management Agency staff will take the stage, leading discussions about levee safety, and flood insurance and mapping procedures, respectively.


Catch up with peers and establish new relationships at APWA Congress & Exposition special events. Post-hurricane rebuilding projects and a golf tournament will be held on the days leading into the main event.

Sunday evening’s opening Mardi Gras Party will feature a street parade leading to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Various special-interest meetings will take place throughout the days following. Make time for offerings pertaining to your professional needs—for instance the First-Timers Meeting, Progressive Women in Public Works Breakfast, Awards Recognition Ceremony and chapter dinners.


The more than 100,000-sq-ft exhibit floor will be open for exploration during various timeframes Sunday through Tuesday. The expo will feature 500-plus exhibitors, many of whom will showcase new public works products and services in onsite presentations.

In addition, APWA will offer visitors several New Orleans sightseeing opportunities coinciding with the Congress & Exposition dates. Register now to reserve your space for area adventures, or purchase last-minute tour tickets, if available, at the convention center’s APWA Tour Desk. Offerings include: A Tale of Two Cities (Pre- and Post-Katrina), Traditions of Mardi Gras, The National WWII Museum and Louisiana Swamplands and Plantations tours.

Editor’s note: Mark your calendar for the 2009 APWA Congress & Exposition, to be held Sept. 13 to 16 in Columbus, Ohio.

For more information on this year’s event, visit

About the author

Caitlin Cunningham is managing editor of Storm Water Solutions. Cunningham can be reached at 847.391.1025 or by e-mail at [email protected].