By Vanessa Hines, PE - Civil Engineer March 20, 2019
One of the largest obstacles in a road reconstruction project is communication. During construction, residents need to know about road closures, utility shutdowns, trash and mail service, and reconstruction details. If you’re not effectively communicating with property owners, small issues can escalate and get out of control quickly.
The mode of communication depends on the audience. At the forefront are the property owners impacted; are they home owners or business owners? With residential street projects, there are different groups of people to consider who receive information in different ways. Business owners may or may not live in the community but will generally have more access to technology.
Communicating in a variety of ways will reach as many business owners and residents as possible. Try these three communication strategies on your next project.
Engage impacted property owners! They can provide a user’s perspective — by getting them involved early, you may gain more advocates for your project. Input from residents was valuable in the initial stages of a road reconstruction project WSN recently completed in Pine Island. The residents helped determine where to place crosswalks so kids who lived on the street could safely walk to school. One homeowner also made us aware that kids liked to walk on a retaining wall that was scheduled to be replaced as part of the project. They were concerned about the height of the wall in the event a child fell off. We couldn’t eliminate the wall, but we were able to keep it low.
Communicate early and often. Your property owners and residents will be much happier if they know what’s going on throughout the project.