COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTIONS HELP DRIVERS DEAL WITH BLANCHETTE BRIDGE RECONSTRUCTION

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) faced a real challenge with the rehabilitation of the 40-year-old Interstate 70 (I-70) Blanchette Bridge over the Missouri River. The bridge repair work required two of the five westbound lanes to be closed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Memorial Day to Labor Day 1998. In fall 1997, MoDOT construction and traffic engineers and public affairs specialists began planning how to handle traffic during the project. The focus of MoDOT's campaign was to educate motorists of the lane closure situation and encourage them to find alternatives to I-70. The department also strongly suggested some other alternatives: working on flex time and telecommuting to avoid the peak rush hours, and car pooling and van pooling to lessen the number of vehicles on the road. MoDOT's public relations campaign comprised of several components including community relations, media relations, governmental relations, and paid radio advertisements. Efforts began with an informational flier mailed to all major businesses and attractions along I-70 3 months before the lane closures. The project was a success, with MoDOT garnering praise for its thoroughness of communications and its efforts to make sure everyone was informed of the work and the available alternatives. Overall, MoDOT had 45 minutes of television coverage over a 6-month time frame and had close to 100 clips in the various local newspapers. Because so many people used alternatives, the project created significantly less congestion than MoDOT predicted. Peak times began 60-90 minutes earlier because of the number of employees using flex time.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 20-23
  • Serial:
    • AASHTO Quarterly Magazine
    • Volume: 77
    • Issue Number: 4
    • Publisher: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
    • ISSN: 0147-4820

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00766223
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 20 1999 12:00AM