Thurston County News


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Meghan Porter

Bryan Dominique

Monday, May 16, 2022
Thurston County Celebrates National Public Works Week

Ready and Resilient news story.png

The American Public Works Association (APWA) theme for the 2022 celebration encourages us to view public works professionals as everyday superheroes.

Thurston County is joining local governments across the nation May 15-21 in celebration of National Public Works Week. The Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) will announce National Public Works Week with an official proclamation during the Tuesday, May 17, 2022 BoCC meeting.

"I am happy to celebrate some of the county's  essential employees," said Thurston County Commission Chair Carolina Mejia. Public Works staff is dedicated to providing vital services to our community and keeping essential services moving 24/7."

In addition to the proclamation, public works staff will be recognized with employee appreciation tributes online and at county facilities throughout the week. Staff will also participate in an official Wear Orange to Work Day on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

"Orange is a symbol of public works employees' selfless commitment and mission to maintain and build the infrastructure that is essential for our economic vitality," said County Manager Ramiro Chavez. Thank you to all Public Works staff for providing vital services to our community and for wearing orange proudly!"    

Each year, the American Public Works Association (APWA) selects a theme to celebrate Public Works Week. The theme for the 2022 National Public Works Week is Ready and Resilient. It encourages us to consider Public Works professionals as our everyday superheroes, overcoming obstacles to provide an infrastructure of services in transportation, water, wastewater, and stormwater treatment, public buildings and spaces, noxious weeds and lakes management, parks and grounds, garbage and recycling, and right-of-way management.

"Whether it's cleaning up after damaging rains, performing scheduled road maintenance to keep us moving, or providing customer service support to a utility customer, public works professionals are always ready to serve and are resilient as ever - tackling any challenge that comes between us and our commitment to provide services," said Thurston County Public Works Director Jennifer Walker.

In unincorporated Thurston County, Public Works maintains 1,038 miles of road, 144 bridges, 106 miles of sidewalks, more than 17,000 traffic devices, and 1,170 miles of public stormwater conveyance systems. The department is also responsible for the operation of the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center (WARC), two refuse drop-box locations, four wastewater systems, and three water systems. In addition, public works staff manage 2,578 acres of parks land, 57 miles of river, and 56 miles of trails.

For details on programs and recent projects managed by Thurston County Public Works, view the department's annual report online

This is the 62nd Annual Public Works Week. APWA developed the celebration to recognize the contributions of public works professionals. 

About APWA
The American Public Works Association ( is a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 30,000 members involved in the field of public works. APWA supports those who operate, improve and maintain public works and infrastructure through advocacy, education, and member engagement. APWA is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., has an office in Washington, DC, and 55 chapters in North America.


In November 2021, Road Operations crews completed an emergency repair to an aging culvert under Country Club Road NW. Without the repair work, it is unlikely the culvert would have lasted through another rainy season.


Road Operations staff member showing a new employee how to put chains on large equipment needed during winter storm operations in 2021.


Public Works office staff answer questions from the public about water and sewer services, billing, garbage, recycling, and more.

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3