Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

North Dakota's Experience

Slide 01: North Dakota's Experience

Work Zone Focus State Workshop

April 19, 2005

North Dakota Department of Transportation

Slide 02: North Dakota's Roads

  • Rural state with 640,000 residents
  • Roads mainly product to market roads

Slide 03: Project Area

  • I-29 Connects Canada to Mexico (I-35)
  • Metro area approaching 250,000 residents
  • Traffic counts
    • I-29 40,000 projected to exceed 70,000
    • Crossroads about 35,000

Slide 04: Project Characteristics

  • Reconstruct I-29 through Fargo – 8 Miles including all interchanges and new underpasses
  • Reconstruct Main Avenue one mile each side of I-29
  • Lengthen Railroad Separation
  • Started in 2000 and will continue into 2008
  • $130 million project

Slide 05: Public Concerns

  • One of four major north south routes in Fargo
    • Regional Hospital and College on north side
    • Large number of employees on the south side
  • Regional shopping center along corridor
    • Closed main entrance into mall during construction
  • Affected almost everyone in town
    • Night closures for beam setting and underground
    • Closed ramps at I-29/I-94 detoured onto city street

Slide 06: Outreach Efforts

  • Overall goal was to reduce crashes and inform public of travel interruptions
  • $380,000 over four years
  • Primarily targeted roadway users

Slide 07: Barriers and Obstacles

  • Biggest barrier was changing mindset that construction was horrible and life altering
  • Overcome by educating and obtaining public buy in

Slide 08: Pre-Construction Outreach

  • "Normal" public process during environmental process
  • Business Advisory Group between environmental process and bidding
    • Co-sponsored by Chamber of Commerce
    • Small group of affected businesses met quarterly to discuss plans and work zone traffic control
    • Allowed businesses to plan for construction

Slide 09: During Construction Outreach

  • Safety message – "Let's get there together, safety first"
  • Tools used
    • Website
    • Leave behinds
    • Press releases
  • Live webcams of workzone
  • Difficult to keep information current in a rapidly changing workzone

Slide 10: During Construction Outreach

  • Contractor public relations
    • Contract required contractor to provide a public information person to update affected property owners
    • Required weekly contact and updates to the property owners
    • Contractor controls schedule and resources so they know best what is going to happen
  • ER Book

Slide 11: Results of Outreach

  • Successful
    • Website
    • Buying advertising
    • Picking a media firm
    • Leave behinds
  • 2000 42 crashes without PIC
  • 2001 19 crashes with PIC

Slide 12: Lessons Learned

  • Lessons learned
    • Time invested up front pays off
    • Working hard at keeping lines of communications open
    • Develop partnerships
  • What could be done differently in the future
    • Get to the affected property owners earlier

Slide 13: Summary

  • Summarize key points (i.e., top 5 things to keep in mind when developing/implementing an outreach campaign)
  • Closing comments/last thoughts to help attendees develop their own strategies and plans later in the day