KNOXVILLE (May 16, 2011) – The third week of May is National Public Works Week (NPWW), a celebration of the tens of thousands of American men and women who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services collectively known as public works. NPWW calls attention to the importance of public works in community life and seeks to enhance the prestige of the professionals who serve the public good every day with quiet dedication. In honor of NPWW, Knox County wants to highlight outstanding employees from different public works divisions, starting with the Knox County Highway Department.
“The Highway Department is a great example of how the Public Works department provides great services to our community through pothole repair, road maintenance, mowing right of ways, salting roads during winter weather and more,” said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. “These employees work with limited manpower and financial resources to keep county roads safe and efficiently serve Knox County residents.”
Roger Biggs has been with the Highway Department for over 27 years. He began his tenure as a highway laborer and worked his way up to Road Crew Supervisor. Biggs explains that the Highway Department does more than just maintain county right of ways, it cuts and removes storm debris, removes snow from roads, salts and sands roadways as needed during winter weather, removes dead animals, mows right of ways and does pothole repair to maintain safety on our county roads.
“Some people have a false impression about highway workers. For example, if workers are waiting for an asphalt truck to finish a job, some people assume they’re wasting time, but these guys work hard,” Biggs said. “A lot of people don’t get a chance to see laborers at 2 a.m. removing trees after a storm or experience the working conditions for asphalt crews when it’s 100 degrees outside.”
Biggs is optimistic that people’s ideas on highway crews are changing, however, and with awareness from such things as NPWW he hopes the community will get a better idea of all the ways highway crews serve the public.
For all the men and women who work diligently to maintain our roadways, update infrastructure, remove snow during unsafe weather and all the other countless aspects of public works, Knox County thanks you.
For more information on National Public Works Week, visit www2.apwa.net/About/npww/.
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