The Massachusetts Highway Association (MHA), in conjunction with the UMass Baystate Road Program, held its 29th annual trade show recently at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlborough, MA. The two-day show, now known as the New England Public Works Expo, went off without a hitch as the weather cooperated, allowing crowds to gather inside and out.
For the seventh year, the crowd enjoyed the MHA-sponsored Massachusetts State Championship Snowplow Roadeo. The event was held in the large parking lot of the Royal Plaza with eight regional Roadeo champs vying for the state championship. The Roadeo involved a snowplow slalom event in which the town team takes a truck-mounted snowplow over an obstacle course; backs up a pickup truck pulling a trailer-mounted compressor; and completes a written exam.
First-place winners of this year's Massachusetts Snowplow Roadeo were the Pembroke team of Dave Scoledge and Steve Rivers. Second-place winners were the Belmont, MA, team of Paul Mosca and Mike Eccles.
This year's show offered more than 75 indoor and outdoor equipment displays plus seminars, workshops and training sessions on a broad range of public works, maintenance and construction techniques.
This year's seminars included "How Geographic Information Systems Can Improve Your Operations," by Andrew O'Connor from CarteGraph Systems; "Municipal Tree Liability and the Beetle Devastation in Worcester," by Paul Sellers from the Mass Tree Warden Association; "Reduce Costs with Alternative Deicing Chemicals," by Kevin Barrett from Safe Road Services; and "Incorporating Biodiesel into Fleet Operations," by Kevin O'Leary from the Dennis K. Burke Company.
MHA's annual show is geared to public works directors, highway superintendents, consultants, and contractors involved in the maintenance of municipal roads and streets. The 115-year-old association has about 800 members and is known as an umbrella organization encompassing seven county highway associations including Barnstable, Plymouth, Norfolk/Bristol/Middlesex, Worcester, Berkshire, Essex, and Tri County.