Many Factors Essential In Completion Of Ohio Gas Main Replacement Project

Planning, Cooperation & Carefully Controlled Logistics
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | November 2013, Vol. 68 No. 11

FOR MORE INFO:
Infrasource, (734) 821-3710, www.infrasourceinc.com
Mears Group, (800) 632-7727, www.mears.net
American Augers, (800) 324-4930, www.americanaugers.com
American Directional Technology (Adtech), 405-449-3362, http://patriotpdm.com
John Deere, (309) 748-0114, www.johndeere.com

Public Relations

InfraSource’s Columbus, OH, gas project was in an densely-populated urban area of residences and businesses, one being the local NBC television affiliate, guaranteeing work – and any problems – would receive immediate media attention. There also were environmental concerns associated with restoration of Clinton Como Park which was within the work area.
At the outset, it was expected that activist groups would become involved. Indeed, over the course of the project’s planning and construction, more than 800 e-mails were received from the Sierra Club, which objected to the preferred route.

A key to minimizing trouble in such situations is educating area residents and businesses about details of the project and the timeline in which each step will occur. The Columbia Gas communications department worked closely with the company’s project management group and began sharing information with the community well before construction began.

Columbia used a variety of communications channels during planning and construction. Prior to the start of construction, the company hosted a public open house at a local library, published a printed brochure and information on the company web site. In addition, Columbia identified and provided project information to a diverse group of stakeholders, including residents along the preferred and alternate routes, elected officials, neighborhood organizations, environmental groups, local businesses, a historic preservation group, state utility regulators, local safety forces, the city parks department and a volunteer group dedicated to Clinton Como Park.

Columbia established telephone and e-mail hotlines for the project, and hired a local public relations firm, which created a blog and Facebook and Twitter sites to provide residents with current information about construction milestones and schedules.