HNTB – JoCoGateway Project
PROGRAM: Public Engagement / Digital
HNTB Corporation, an infrastructure solutions firm, was commissioned by the Kansas Department of Transportation to assist in the planning, design and implementation of the Johnson County Gateway Project, the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in the state. A major element of the project was to keep the nearly 250,000 people who daily drive through the project updated on construction details. Phase One of the project included an information-based website.
HNTB engaged Sturges Word for Phase Two of the project to add value to and increase engagement of the public, keeping them fully informed in a dynamic and engaging way. HNTB and Sturges Word worked together in developing statistically verifiable research of screened participants – focus groups of 90 people and an online survey capturing 600 responses. The team also conducted stakeholder interviews with the Gateway advisory group made up of community members / leaders and, reviewed website analytics to determine how the existing site had been accessed. This research produced information including how the public views construction, how they like to receive information, their understanding of traffic issues the project is designed to mitigate, their tolerance for traffic delays and more.
Based on the research, HNTB and Sturges Word determined that a dynamic website would fulfill the prevalent request for an easy and convenient location for the public to find all the critical information in near real-time. In designing the site, Sturges Word:
- Updated messaging to address the most pressing public concerns.
- Redesigned the website’s look and feel in a mobile, responsive format.
- Added an alert function, improved search functionality, instituted a blog roll for quick updates and traffic alerts, included a text caster widget for users who wanted to receive text alerts, and coordinated for fresh graphics and video.
- Conducted internal reviews with stakeholders, KDOT and communications managers.
- Incorporated an e-newsletter distributed monthly with shorter time-sensitive emails to be sent out as needed.
In the first months after its launch, website usage was up 347 percent compared to the previous year’s quarters with 74 percent of the site’s traffic made up of new visitors (up 4 percent from previous quarters). The combination of the web alerts, text alerts, e-newsletters, emails, social media and live events all have served to drive the public to this single go-to source, keeping them up-to-the-minute informed and manage expectations all while helping HNTB and KDOT to keep their messaging clear and consistent.
Services Provided For HNTB – JoCoGateway Project