Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) New Street Superintendent Kris Hawley is a familiar face to the City of Marshfield.
Hawley, formerly Assistant Street Superintendent, was officially appointed to the head position in March by the Common Council.
“I always wanted to be able to run a division,” he said.
Hawley began his career in construction after achieving a bachelor’s degree, but later decided to head back to school to earn a technical degree in civil engineering and a professional land surveying license. He worked extensively in the transportation side of the profession, surveying and inspecting road construction projects.
The opportunity came to move to Marshfield in 1998 and serve as the City Surveyor in the City Engineering Division until 2014, when Hawley transferred to the Street Division as an assistant.
In his new role as Street Superintendent, Hawley hopes to continue some previous practices, while starting some new ones.
“We’ve got a pretty dangerous job. I want to continue safety programs my predecessors before me implemented,” he said. “We just started a space needs study. There is a desperate need for more space to work and park our vehicles — that’s a safety issue in and of itself, the way we have things parked around here.”
Hawley will also implement a more extensive inventory management program to provide a computerized inventory of all available parts, and work to reduce environmental impact for winter operations, such as reducing the amount of salt that’s applied to the roads.
“In the last couple years we’ve gone to a salt brine application. It’s newer technology,” said Hawley. “A lot of state and county DOTs are looking at going to a brine-only application. Depending on the effectiveness of brine-only applications, the City could head in that direction in the future.”
Before a snowstorm, the Street Division uses a process called Anti Icing in which they apply salt brine to the roads to buy time before plowing and keep the snow from bonding to the pavement, a method Hawley said is more environmentally friendly and provides a big cost benefit.
When not managing street construction projects or snow removal in Marshfield, Hawley enjoys spending time with his two kids, who graduated college and now work as schoolteachers in Marshfield, and his 1-year-old grandchild. His also likes to do activities outdoors, in particular hunting and fishing.