H2−1: Bid Item in the Construction Contract for Public Relations
Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) includes a bid item in nearly all of its construction contracts to support the public relations efforts led by MCDOT's in−house Community Relations team under the umbrella of its RightRoads Program for public outreach. The contract will typically identify the type of program support and activities the contractor will be required to perform such as participating in public meetings; providing informational signage; gathering information for and distributing public notices/newsletters; documenting existing property conditions prior to starting construction; and assisting in responding to questions or complaints concerning construction operations.
MCDOT construction newsletters and informational roadside signage give 24−hour construction hotline number and project website where the public can obtain timely and accurate project information. Newsletters typically include information such as construction progress, hours of construction, upcoming activities that will create high noise levels, interruption of utilities, traffic restrictions or street closures, detour locations, disruption of bus routes, and planned haul/material delivery routes.
REASON(S) FOR ADOPTING:
MCDOT is aware that roadway construction is a disruption to residents, businesses and motorists, and that these stakeholders need and deserve open, ongoing communication and information about public projects. MCDOT's program and the support provided through this bid item ensures proactive planning and well−organized execution of a cooperative and project−specific public information and outreach plan.
This program has vastly reduced the number of complaints that are received regarding construction impacts and community inconvenience. With knowledge of the construction project, motorists will alter their trips to other routes, thereby reducing congestion and enhancing both motorist and worker safety. Sometimes information is provided by citizens that the County was unaware of and can be taken into consideration and adjustments can be made when necessary. A long−term benefit is the building of public trust that comes from the two−way dialog among affected residents, businesses, the traveling public, partnering jurisdictions, and MCDOT.
MOST APPLICABLE LOCATION(S)/PROJECT(S):
All types of projects that impact the public.
STATE(S) WHERE USED:
Roberta Crowe, Maricopa County DOT
Phone: (602) 506−8003