A few pages in a magazine can’t do justice to all the work you do, so we’re going a few steps further.
I write this column every month. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes, like right now, trying to give voice to any useful sentiment is just a slow, painful process. And sometimes I’m convinced no one will ever read a word of it anyway, so it’s always nice when someone comments on it.
I’m sure you feel the same in your jobs sometimes. Sometimes — probably far too often — you do great work and it seems like no one notices, while the smallest perceived mistake draws more needless attention than the Kardashian sisters.
I’ve heard so many of you talk about how no one pays any attention to sewer and water systems until there’s a problem. I’ve heard the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” used in reference to underground infrastructure countless times. It’s a battle you face daily. You’re the unsung heroes of modern sanitation, but sometimes a little positive feedback, or just some basic recognition, goes a long way.
Our coverage of the Downtown Streetscape Project in my hometown of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, is aimed at doing just that. We featured the project in last month’s issue of MSW, but we’re not just sharing this story and forgetting about it as we move on to the next. You need to see your projects through to completion, and we’re seeing this one through, too.
We gave you a good overview of the $10 million project in August, but like every story, every project, there’s much more to it. The general public may only understand the immediate and direct impact on their day-to-day lives — typically the traffic disruption — but we know there’s more and we want to share it with you.
Good projects deserve recognition, and I think there’s something you can gain from getting a good look at every facet of a project like this. It covers water and wastewater. It requires a high level of engineering, and flexibility to adjust to the unexpected. Its smooth execution requires clear and constant communication with affected property owners and the community at large. The town also has a colorful, industrial history, and there’s a definite downtown revitalization angle here, with significant socioeconomic impact.
We try to give you a well-rounded picture in our profiles, so this time we’re sticking with the story. There’s already an update to last month’s profile on the Rhinelander project at mswmag.com/Rhinelander. There’s also a photo gallery we’re continually updating, and some of those other pieces I mentioned above. We’ll be posting new content regularly, and telling the stories within the story so you can get a complete picture.
This is an opportunity to dig deeper, follow the project through to completion, and ideally to learn more from those challenges and successes. I hope you’re able to do just that.
Enjoy this month’s issue.