For more than 30 years, the APWA-MN Chapter has sponsored an annual Awards Program that recognizes excellence in public works. In addition, the chapter actively supports the APWA Awards Program with multiple submissions to the annual national awards program.

Learn more about awards and winners in the tabbed section below.

Chapter Awards

Project of the Year

Franklin Avenue Bridge Rehabilitation
Franklin Avenue Bridge Rehabilitation

Franklin Avenue Bridge Rehabilitation
Agency – Hennepin County
Designer – HNTB Corporation
Contractor – Kraemer North America

Environmental Stewardship Award

City of Mankato
City of Mankato

Water Treatment Backwash Reclamation Project - City of Mankato, in partnership with Minnesota Department of Health and Bolton & Menk, Inc.

Maintenance Professional of the Year

Paul Fink
Paul Fink

Paul Fink, City of Bloomington

Superintendent of the Year

Jeff Stevens
Jeff Stevens

Jeff Stevens, City of St. Louis Park

Director or Manager of the Year

David Haas
David Haas
David Haas, City of Jordan, is named Director of the Year. David has been deeply committed to keeping his community’s infrastructure clean and operating efficiently since 2008 rising through the ranks and becoming Public Works Director in 2013. He began taking on innovative initiatives based on his contracting background which have resulted in significant savings and have improved processes in ways not typically seen.

Hugo G. Erickson Award

Lee Gustafson
Lee Gustafson

WSB & Associates, Inc.

Lee Gustafson has been actively involved with the Chapter since 1983. He has served as Director-Engineer/Manager, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President, President, and Past President, and is currently the Chapter's Deputy Treasurer. Lee has transformed Chapter Administration in many positive ways; paperless processes, created templates and task lists, filing procedures, on-line voting. Helped to create our chapter website! Lee brings to every table his incredible “creative” and “can-do” spirit. He is the cheerleader that energizes all who meet and work with him, bringing out the best in everyone! 

National Awards

Harry S. Swearingen Award (Corporate)

Bolton & Menk, Inc.

Bolton & Menk has been an effective and longstanding partner of the Minnesota Chapter of APWA. Bolton & Menk has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the organization by providing financial support, as a Platinum Plus sponsor, the Chapter’s highest level of sponsorship. Bolton & Menk is also a sponsor to numerous chapter events throughout the year.

Employees of Bolton & Menk are currently serving as committee chairs and committee members and other employees have been members of the executive committee, APWA award recipients and session moderators at Chapter conferences.

Harry S. Swearingen Award (Individual)

Angela Popenhagen

Angela Popenhagen has been, and continues to be, a truly dedicated member of APWA. Her APWA career began in 1994 when the Chapter’s Awards Committee Chair was in Angela’s employer’s office for a client meeting. During that meeting, he got off-topic to talk about the APWA-Minnesota Chapter’s Spring Conference. He was frantic because he wouldn’t be able to present the awards as planned. Angela’s boss at the time offered that Angela could attend to present the awards, and seeing that she had graduated and been hired only two month prior, no was not an answer! So, a bit of an introduction by fire, but that was the start of something great! While this first presentation was very overwhelming due to the fact that she knew no one in the room, Angela now can see how amazing this organization has been for her career as well as her friendships, and she has been committed to serving the organization ever since!

Citation for Exemplary Service to Public Works

Kevin Western

Kevin has made a profound impact throughout his 29-year career in the MnDOT Bridge Office through his technical abilities, leadership and community outreach. During his tenure in the Bridge Office, he has not only helped develop policies to advance the department but many of the policies are also used by local agencies throughout the state.

Kevin has served on technical committees and task forces for organizations at the national level where he influenced policy and brought best practices from across the country back to Minnesota. Through this involvement, Kevin has become a recognized national leader and well respected expert by his fellow state bridge professionals.  

Technical Innovation Award

MnDOT - Use of Drones for Bridge Review

The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MnDOT) Bridge Inspections used Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for bridge review. As costs of bridge inspections continue to increase, MnDOT evaluated the use of UAS to help alleviate the cost and improve the quality of bridge inspections throughout the state. This innovative approach is not only more cost-effective, it is also safer for the bridge inspector and less intrusive to the traveling public as traffic lanes do not need to be closed for the inspection. UAS technology is advancing rapidly and continued advancements in the technology are proving UAS to be an effective tool for bridge inspectors.


Sustainability Practices

City of Coon Rapids

The City of Coon Rapids has made the practice of sustainability a priority in all of its current operations, as well as its plans for future growth and redevelopment within the City. Elected officials and senior management staff provide consistent and solid support to personnel and commissions assigned to implement sustainability practices in City processes and procedures. The City boasts one of the largest and most successful recycling centers and programs in the state. Innovation has been key to successful sustainability practices, which has been demonstrated by the implementation of energy efficient facility operations, future ordinance revisions including native plantings and backyard chickens, and storm water management via Minimal Impact Design Standards for new and redevelopment projects. The City continually strives to keep its residential housing stock in good condition, which is due in large part to its highly successful Homes for Generations program. Coon Rapids is currently a Level 2 GreenStep City, and continues to complete additional Best Practices in order to qualify for Level 3 status.  

Exceptional Performance Award in Journalism

City of Richfield Sweet Streets

The City of Richfield created a multi-faceted public awareness campaign to inform the public of a major six-year commitment being made to street improvements throughout the City. The campaign included the use of a distinct website for the program, social media, print media (newspaper and bus bench advertisements), and promotional items. As a part of the Sweet Streets program, nearly every street in town will have some level of improvement over the six-year span of time (construction began in 2015). Given the level of work being proposed, the City knew it was important to inform and educate the public, its residents, and neighbors and continue to actively engage with everyone throughout the campaign.

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