Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
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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

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