An increase in traveling demands has urged state transportation agencies (STAs) to shorten highway construction project duration, using a variety of accelerated construction techniques and strategies. However, accelerated highway construction projects may impact communities in terms of traffic congestion, safety issues, and other public inconveniences. Effective communication with community stakeholders about these potential inconveniences can provide an opportunity to highlight innovative accomplishments and increase trust between STAs and the traveling public. Therefore, as some studies have shown, effective management of outreach strategies is a key success factor of accelerated construction projects. One of the main goals of this study is to gauge the effectiveness of public outreach tools and strategies in meeting different communication goals, including traffic avoidance, increasing driving awareness, decreasing impatient behavior, and building trust with the public. These tools range from traditional, low-tech methods, such as town hall meetings and static traffic signage, to high-tech methods, such as websites and social media. The data for this research is based on a survey of 71 experts from 40 different STAs. Statistical analyses (analysis of variance) indicate that the effectiveness of outreach tools vary significantly in achieving different communication goals during the construction phase of accelerated highway projects. In addition, the results allowed us to find the most appropriate outreach tools and strategies based on project characteristics and target audience. The findings of this research can help STAs and other public administrators to better manage their outreach activities during the accelerated construction projects.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: May 11, 2018
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Construction Management; Public Relations