When Big Projects Come to Smaller Places: The Communication Challenge

In early summer 2005, the Eugene-Springfield, Oregon area (250,000 pop.) was about to experience the largest, most complex highway preservation project that the community had seen in a generation. The I-105 Improvement Project would require five unique full-lane closure stages over a 66-day, 24-hr schedule; affecting 66,000 daily trips amidst a busy summer events schedule. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) recently began supporting a new philosophy in public outreach by contracting communications efforts with the respective community agencies affected by major State construction projects. For the I-105 Improvement Project, ODOT contracted with Lane Council of Governments (LCOG). A complex project and few resources prompted unique partnerships, leveraging funds and expertise between regional partners and developed into an innovative communications structure that yielded a successful campaign. Among the primary implementation tools was www.keepusmoving.info, a project website that became the nexus for information and material exchange for several diverse stakeholder interests. The plan also leveraged resources from the regional transportation options program, prompting a spike in community interest for demand management services, and maintained an active 13-agency congestion mitigation group that continues to evolve based on the efforts of the I-105 project scope. Performance measurement was a key component to this project that should affect future policy language in long-range plans. A principal goal was to evaluate the planning and implementation process with quantitative and qualitative data and to analyze travel behavior and programs' successes against the existing regional traffic modeling system. The end product is an objective evaluation document that will be presented to ODOT to use as a tool for future communications efforts. In this presentation and paper, hear how a smaller community built a successful campaign around a large project with unique ideas, public-private partnerships and analysis of performance measures that strengthened the transportation planning process at all levels. Sharing elements of the evaluation tool may help other small communities leverage their limited resources and learn what worked well and what could have been executed better as LCOG shares a set of results and recommendations for replication.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Pagination: 13p
  • Monograph Title: Tools of the Trade: 10th National Conference on Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01044617
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Mar 23 2007 10:25AM