Contractor-led public relations on a design-build highway project

James Ernzen, Janet Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Recent innovations by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) in the area of public relations for highway construction are presented. Explosive population growth in Arizona has pushed ADOT to the limits of its capacity and has challenged ADOT to develop innovative ways to stretch its resources to meet constituents' needs. In 1996 the state legislature passed legislation enacting a pilot design-build program aimed at completing public construction projects more rapidly than could be done by traditional methods. The second project in the program-which involved widening from 6 to 10 lanes 13 km (8 mi) of Interstate 17, a primary artery carrying 180,000 vehicles per day through the city of Phoenix-is described. ADOT established public relations requirements for the design-build contractor, evaluated each proposer's response to those requirements, and then worked with the winning design-build team to administer the public relations program for the project. An important requirement of the program was the use of public opinion surveys performed by the design-builder throughout the project to measure the effectiveness of the public relations program. The survey results provided the basis for a unique financial incentive program used on the project. The results of the public opinion surveys and corresponding incentive payments are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-164
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1780
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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