An Effective Communication Strategy for Eddington Boulevard Realignment
The Eddington Boulevard Realignment project was conceived through a public/private partnership where a developer entered into a PUD agreement with the City of Rochester Hills to develop a new “core” area. This area was to provide services to the adjacent neighborhoods where a more walkable/safer community could be achieved.
To the west and east of Rochester Road, between Hamlin and East Avon roads, are subdivisions with single-family homes. Each subdivision had its own entrance road with no traffic light. Drexelgate Parkway was to the west and Eddington Boulevard was to the east with approximately 200 feet between the two roads.
Aerial views of the completed Eddington Boulevard Realignment project (left) and the new four-way intersection with a traffic light (right)
Through the PUD agreement, the boulevard on Drexelgate Parkway was to be eliminated in favor of a three-lane roadway connection to Rochester Road. Existing Eddington Boulevard would be eliminated and converted into a park while the new Eddington would be realigned with Drexelgate to create a four-way intersection with a traffic light. In addition to road work and utility upgrades, the project also included a linear park and other landscape improvements associated with the new Eddington corridor.
Photos of the new park where the Old Eddington Boulevard existed (left) and the new linear park along Eddington Boulevard (right)
Once the project was designed, the City of Rochester Hills contracted with NFE to provide construction engineering services, including construction management, construction oversight, construction observation, coordination of material testing, landscape observation, construction staking, and collaboration/communication with City staff and residents throughout construction.
The City is a leader within Southeast Michigan in implementing innovative strategies for communication and completing projects on behalf of their constituents. NFE was tasked with implementing a communication strategy during construction that was innovative and which would make good on promises made to the public during the community engagement process of keeping them fully informed throughout the project.
NFE implemented a “Constant Contact” communication strategy throughout construction. All stakeholders and residents received regular emails identifying work that was completed the prior week, work that was expected to be completed the coming week, and identified critical changes in traffic patterns, bussing, city services, etc. The goal of this communication strategy was to answer questions before they were asked and to eliminate the need for stakeholders to call to ask their questions.
Where they would normally receive multiple phone calls a day, the City estimates implementing this communication strategy reduced construction inquires by 80 percent from what they normally receive during a typical construction project. The “Constant Contact” approach to communication with the public turned out to be a game changer for the City where they now consider this method of communication on all their construction projects.
For more information, please contact Jeff Huhta at 248-332-7931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.