Wastewater, Water, Transportation, Educational, Marketing, Private, and Landscape Projects
Salter Well Replacement WATER
Water | Well | Residential
Well replacement projects have huge impacts on nearby residents that often require innovative contractor solutions.
This water well replacement project had a major impact on the neighborhood because of its location in the City’s Fletcher Farms park– and the fact that there was 24/7 drilling underway for four months.
The purpose of this project was to abandon an old well that had been acquired from another water system, and replace it with a more efficient well, along with improvements to the existing reservoir and booster pump stations at a later date. Work started in August 2019.
YPMO’s work started with a public open house to inform residents of the work and respond to questions. Public open houses require significant coordination and attention to detail. For this project, the YPMO team contacted a local middle school and met with staff to discuss logistics. “It took a lot of coordination so the City project team, school, and YPMO are all on the same page,” says Maya Hall, PI Specialist.
“We remove tables and chairs so people don’t get to comfortable and think there’s a presentation, and we have extra copies of the construction notices. We take down notes of questions that don’t get answered so we can get back to them later with answers,” says Anne Thompson, president.
“This school was easy access from the exterior of the school with the parking lot close by, and our directional signage was easy to read. It’s the logistics of the open house that we have to think through and use our expertise to set up the room or the best possibilities.”
Another challenge for open houses is the YPMO team never knows how many attendees will show up. “We have to make sure that if we have 100 people show up, we’re prepared,” says Thompson.
For this event, YPMO provided snacks for the guests, had a sign-in sheet to track attendance, and set up the room for good flow so attendees could see the City’s display boards about the project.
They sent out a postcard mailer notice for the meeting, which was conducted at the neighborhood elementary school. The notice featured a map showing the location of the construction site in the middle of the community, and still, only a few couples and children showed up for the meeting. One family was especially curious about the project, and suggested that the construction team do a tour of the site to let the community know more about the project. The family also helped the YPMO team be aware of fall events, such as trick-or-treating and parties in the park. The attendees were very concerned about noise.
YPMO also sent out construction notices and managed a construction hotline, and when the drilling started, the hotline lit up. Sound barriers were fairly effective, but the main problem was nighttime lighting which impacted homes on the south side of the park. Unfortunately, the residents contacted their councilmember, which is never a good thing for an infrastructure project.
The contractor developed a creative solution by creating light-diffusers with cardboard boxes that deflected the lighting on the drill rigs.
Another update was sent out in January 2020 to advise residents of the next phase, which involved pumping the debris from the well and then pumping material to the New River about a mile away. This involved a hose from the well across the neighborhood, and even across a neighborhood that wasn’t familiar with the project, all the way to New River.
One lesson learned from this project is that the YPMO team needed to knock on doors around the neighborhood to make sure the message was delivered. The resident who called the councilmember didn’t know about the project, and upon further discussion, acknowledged that he may have tossed the construction notice mailer thinking it was junk mail. For that reason, YPMO spends extra effort to create eye-catching notices that stand out so residents don’t miss important information.
“We use postcards and show clients the cost savings for them not to print sheets two-sided, and then use an envelope. It’s a lot of labor and materials that they’re saving,” says Thompson. “The better the notices, the fewer the complaints, and we help the City look good because they’re communicating with their residents.”
“We also have to research how to contact the Homeowner Associations who are critical to share information with their residents. Some HOA’s share information well, and others don’t,” she says.
City of Peoria
-Public Meeting Planning and Facilitation
-Sign Procurement and Placement
Felix Construction Company
When construction operations require 24/7 operations, public outreach is critical to inform residents of schedules and respond to unanticipated concerns.
Residents near this park had to endure nosy drilling 24/7 for four months. Generally, the nearby residents were accommodating and tolerated the inconvenience well. Highly impactful projects like this generally proceed better when construction notices are clear and hotline calls are addressed with care.
Contractors are responsible for sound barriers to minimize noise disruptions. In this instance, they worked diligently to solve lighting concerns with ingenuity and creativity.