Wastewater, Water, Transportation, Educational, Marketing, Private, and Landscape Projects
FAST OVERLAY JOA3 STREET TRANSPORTATION
STREET MAINTENANCE | CHIP SEAL | SEAL COAT | CRACK SEAL
Construction work can be confusing to residents and businesses, so communication materials must be clear and simple to understand.
This project is part of the City of Phoenix T2050 voter-approved program that includes street repairs using mill and overlay, crack and seal, and pothole repair techniques.
YPMO developed a clear set of communications that inform residents and businesses about the three-step process so they would understand what to expect in their neighborhoods. The team developed eye-catching two-sided postcard mailers that showed the schedule, map, what to expect, parking guidelines, along with City commitment statements explaining the T2050 program.
YPMO also conducted business walks, often in large business parks, to notify business owners or managers of upcoming construction work, learn about business hours, and explain traffic and parking restrictions.
“We let people know what was happening and answer questions,” says Angela Garcia, project manager. “Sometimes, we are only the messengers that residents and business hear from.”
“We also point residents to the City’s website so they will get all the information they need. I always enjoy communicating with the residents. For example, we get calls wondering if the work will affect a child’s birthday party on the weekend. We listen to their troubles and say, ‘Oh, if your party’s on Saturday, there’s no work on that day, so don’t worry.’”
Public outreach is always ready to calm dissatisfied residents. No one wants an angry voter to call their councilmember or mayor. YPMO knows that bad news travels fast, and our goal is to make sure contractors are informed so they can make corrections in the field, and not anger their City client. “We are doing a good job of nipping problems in the bud,” says Garcia. “We are always right on top of problems and get resolutions mostly the same day.”
Prior to spring 2020, the city-wide project was moving very well. Progress slowed when crews had to be quarantined, which made it difficult to keep the schedule. As a result, the work was split into two phases—crack and seal and patch in January, and then coming back to do the mill and overlay and final pothole maintenance later in the spring. YPMO’s scope expanded when they sent out second construction notices.
City of Phoenix
Construction hotlines are important communication tools.
While residents were always notified with detailed information about schedules and restrictions, there were times when cars were towed, and residents didn’t know where they were, according to Garcia. “They were expecting to pay lots of money to get them out. We would get a call on the hotline and let them know the car’s around the corner. We always try to have easy solutions to street parking challenges.”
Some construction hotlines work better than others. For this project, the hotline was being managed outside YPMO’s scope. Residents would call the hotline and get to the construction company’s project manager. Sometimes, communication broke down, and the on-site crews didn’t know that a resident had a problem. When the project manager didn’t know where the complaint was coming from, it was hard to get the message to the crews. When YPMO answers hotline calls, the team gets the caller’s location, looks up the location on the project’s maps, and can quickly get word out to the field.