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.

National Awards

Public Works Project of the Year, Historical Restoration/Preservation - $5 Million, but less than $25 Million

City of Minneapolis

The City of Minneapolis, along with Meyer Contracting (contractor) and Stantec (consultant) received the Project of the Year Award - Historic Restoration/Preservation ($5 Million, but less than $25 Million) project.

Just west of downtown Minneapolis and the Mississippi River lies the historic North Loop District. In its original heyday, it was home to a billion-dollar wholesale industry and its associated factories, warehouses, and railyards. However, with the modernization of distribution practices by the automobile and the economic impact from The Great Depression, this once-thriving neighborhood experienced a decline that didn’t start fully transitioning until the Target Field development (home of the Minnesota Twins) attracted activity back to the area. 

This transition from factory to fashionable didn’t happen overnight. Pivotal to revitalization was the ability for infrastructure to effectively serve the area without infringing on its historic character. 

In the spring of 2010, the City of Minneapolis began to develop the Warehouse District Heritage Street Plan. In 2011, the Warehouse District Heritage Street Plan was approved by the North Loop Neighborhood Association and the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission.

The city, along with its consultant, Stantec, reached a preferred design for each heritage street and outlined a possible funding and implantation plan. A task force made up of people with expertise and interest in the historic district guided the city and its consultants throughout the process. Today the North Loop is one of the trendiest and fastest-growing commercial and residential neighborhoods in the Twin Cities.

Professional Manager of the Year - Water Resources

Steve Klein

Steve Klein, Vice President, Barr Engineering Company, received APWA's Professional Manager of the Year Award in Water Resources.

Steve has 45 years of experience in stormwater management, urban and rural water resources management, water supply, hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, water quality analysis, and forensic engineering—serving municipalities, counties, watershed districts, water management organizations, soil and water conservation districts, state and federal agencies, and private industry. He is a professional engineer licensed in 16 U.S. states and the province of Alberta,  Canada. He is also certified as a professional hydrologist with the American Institute of Hydrology. In addition to bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering, Steve holds a master’s degree in business administration.

Steve's contributions have spanned the advancement of water resources management to solve today's complex water management problems in ways that serve the future; provides extensive service to municipalities and counties; and innovative in developing state-of-the-art technologies in construction site erosion, sediment control practices, and sustainability. His leadership and innovation have led to several award-winning projects. In addition, Steve makes a significant effort to advance the profession and is a requested guest speaker at many conferences and seminars held by APWA and other professional organizations.

Steve's greatest accomplishment involves his customer service skills testified by his long-term client and community relationships.

Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year

Kristin Asher

Kristin Asher, Director of Public Works, City of Richfield, received the APWA Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year Award. This award recognizes the outstanding career service achievements of individual public works professionals.

Kristin is a key and influential member of the public works community. She demonstrates time and time again that it's all about the opportunities and the partnerships through the successful completion of projects with the consensus from the residents and local and state governmental entities.
One of Kristin's strengths is that she is not afraid to challenge the norm and look for new ways to make a positive impact. Examples include: (1) successful completion of a major sewer replacement project through collaboration with over eight agencies and many stakeholders; and (2) convinced her city council of the importance of using Street Reconstruction Bonds to fund essentially the replacement of all roadways within the city. Selling the message to the residents was a huge undertaking and wildly successful. The award-winning "Sweet Streets" project became a reality under the guiding principles of multimodal design, connectivity in the public realm, local economy, design for people, community character and identity, sustainable solutions, health and active lifestyles, and unique location.

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