Jones - Caltrans I-5 Boat Section Project Inspiring Public

Caltrans I-5 Boat Section Project
Inspiring Public Cooperation on a Tight Budget
American Association
of State Highway Transportation Officials
Jody Jones, District 3 Director, California Department of Transportation
Caltrans I-5 Boat Section Project
Public Outreach and Advertising Campaign
"Boat Section Background:
• Originally built in ‘60s and ‘70s
• Called the Boat Section due to:
o Construction: 10’ thick
concrete slab below adjacent
Sacramento River water level,
pins drilled 80’ deep
o History of flooding
• Drain system became clogged
• Required constant monitoring and
repairs during rains
Caltrans I-5 Boat Section Project
Public Outreach and Advertising Campaign
Project Objective:
To replace ¾-mile roadbed section of I-5 and
install new monitoring wells and drainage system.
One of the busiest sections of CA freeway
Carries 190,000 vehicles a day
Primary access to California’s Capitol
Major thruway for freight.
Caltrans I-5 Boat Section Project
Public Outreach and Advertising Campaign
Project Challenges:
•Minimize traffic disruption:
o Original plan would have spanned 5 years
o Caltrans engineers revised plan to 1 year
with partial lane closures on nights and
o Address work site safety issues for public,
workers and emergency response needs
Caltrans I-5 Boat Section Project
Public Outreach and Advertising Campaign
Project Strategies:
Contractor C.C. Myers, Inc. proposed a faster, innovative
approach which Caltrans approved:
• Full closures in alternating N/S directions
• Use emergency-style around-the-clock
work schedule over 7 weeks
• Use new rapid-setting slag-based concrete
• Partner with Caltrans in outreach effort.
Caltrans I-5 Boat Section Project
Public Outreach and Advertising Campaign
Campaign Objectives:
Create a strong brand personality
Create close to 100% awareness that a one-mile
section of Interstate 5 (I-5) would be closed
Enlist drivers’ help to reduce traffic by:
Using public transportation
Changing their travel times
Using alternate routes
Limiting trips.
Caltrans I-5 Boat Section Project
Public Outreach and Advertising Campaign
Branding Included:
• Name that quickly communicated a
positive goal of the project: Fix I-5
• website
• Visuals that identified the area
• Logo using the orange cone to identify
Caltrans and be a safety reminder
• Positive call to action as the slogan:
Keeping Sacramento’s Gateway Open
Caltrans I-5 Boat Section Project
Public Outreach and Advertising Campaign
Target Audiences:
– Residents and commuters
– Out of town travelers and truckers
– Businesses in downtown, Old
Sacramento, West Sacramento and the
Riverfront Park district
– Cities and public officials
– Transportation Management
– News media
Caltrans I-5 Boat Section Project
Public Outreach and Advertising Campaign
Tactics Included:
– 4 media events
– Website as the primary source of
communication and information
– Outreach via public presentations
– Paid Media
– Partnerships
– Direct Mail
– Collateral: banners, posters and flyers
– Daily media relations, press releases
and project updates
– Daily email blasts during closures.
Website Included:
• Project Maps and Detours
• Live Traffic Cameras
• Email Alerts
• What’s Happening:
o Schedules and maps
• Commute Alternatives:
o Bus, light rail, carpooling, Park and
• Detour Maps
• Boat Section History
Website Included:
• FAQs
• Contact Us
• News Room
• Sacramento Is Open for Business
• “Freeway Frenzy” game
• Links to:
o Caltrans
o Sacramento 5-1-1
o Slow for the Cone Zone campaign
o California Trucking Assoc. site
o Sac. Regional Transit.
Media Buy
Sponsored reports on top-rated news station in
the region (KCRA) and Univision for Latino
Sponsored traffic reports on 33 stations including
Spanish radio
Print ads:
The Sacramento Bee, Caltrux Magazine (to
truckers) and the Capitol Weekly.
Bus side ads:
King-size ads on Sacramento Regional Transit
Web-based media:
Streaming commercials and web banners
Public-Private Partnerships
Partners included:
City of Sacramento
Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Old Sacramento Merchants Assoc.
California Trucking Association
Sacramento Regional Transit
Sacramento Commuter Club
SACOG/Sacramento Region 511
Traffic Reporters
Sacramento River Cats
Sacramento Airport
Regional Transportation Management Assoc.’s
Truck Stops.
Website Launch Announcement
February 29, 2008
Project Announcement
Press Conference – March 17, 2008
Announced Expedited Project Plan
Speakers Included:
• Caltrans Director Will Kempton
• Mayor Heather Fargo
• Caltrans District 3 Director Jody Jones
• Contractor C. C. Myers
Press Coverage:
• KCRA Channel 3 - NBC
• News 10 - ABC
• KTXL - Fox 40
• CW31 – KMAX
• Sacramento Bee
• Sacramento Business Journal
• San Jose Mercury News
• KFBK News Radio
• Capitol Public Radio(NPR)
Will Kempton, director
California Department of Transportation
Pre-Project Public Outreach: March - April
Direct Mail:
• Mailed to 125,000+ recipients
Public Open Houses:
• Downtown
• South Sacramento
• Natomas
• 250+ people attended
Direct Public Presentations:
More that 60 presentations to
neighborhood associations, State
agencies, business associations,
major carriers and civic groups
Truck Driver Outreach
Why so important?
Each big rig truck takes the place of 4 cars
Outreach included:
• Ads in CalTrux Magazine
• Article in CalTrux
Each big rig truck takes the place of 4 cars:
• Flyers and Fact Sheets:
o Hand-delivered to all
truck stops in a 30-mile
o Mailed to another 59
truck stops from LA to
Governor’s Executive Order
Press Conference – May 16, 2008
Announced Governor’s Order Encouraging Transit Options
Speakers and Partners:
• Director Kempton
• Cal EPA
• U.C. Davis
• Chevron
Key Messages:
• Encouraged transit options
• Announced research project
to study traffic effects
Press Coverage:
• All local news radio & TV
Sacramento Bee,
Sacramento Business Journal
Will Kempton, director
California Department of Transportation
Media Relations During the Project
• Caltrans spokesperson Mark Dinger, made
himself available to the media from 4:30am
to 11pm, 6+ days a week.
• Caltrans staff issued:
o More than 20 news releases
o Media updates before every new closure
and during each day of a closure
Media Relations During the Project
• 6 interviews on Community Affairs
programs including KFBK, KXJZ, Y92
• 4 Press Conferences at key completions
• Daily communication meetings with C.C.
Myers’ Media Consultant, Beth Ruyak, to
clarify messages and come up with story
Clint Myers, CEO – C.C. Myers Inc.; with
Will Kempton, director - Caltrans
Beth Ruyak – C.C. Myers Inc.
consulting with Caltrans engineer
Documentary Project
Special Access for Local PBS Documentary Project
Historical value
Advance planning
Safety requirements
Extended shoot schedule
End result
Freeway Re-Opening
Press Conference – July 28, 2008
Announced: All lanes re-opened
Speakers Included:
• Director Kempton
• Contractor C. C. Myers
• Project Engineers
Press Coverage:
• KCRA Channel 3
• News 10
• Fox 40
• Univision
• Sacramento Bee
• KFBK radio
• KXJZ radio
How successful was the
News Coverage
Newspapers Articles:
• Sacramento Bee: More than 56 stories
Articles appeared prior to the project start, before each closure, at the completion
of stages and each day during closures. Nearly all stories ran on front page or
Metro page 1. The campaign made the front page on 3 out of 4 sections of the
Bee on Mon. 6/16/08
• Sacramento Business Journal:
4 stories, 2 front page
Capitol Weekly
San Jose Mercury News
Modesto Bee
Woodland Daily Democrat
Sacramento Union (online)
News Coverage
Magazine Stories:
• Concrete Products Magazine
(cover story)
• AGC Constructor (cover story)
• State of California Supervisors
Association Magazine
News Coverage
Editorial Support:
News Coverage
• KFBK (16 recorded stories, with multiple airings
and 50 different readers)
• V101
• And many
News 10
Fox 40
CBS 13
News Coverage
More than 120 online news stories and blogger reports were posted on:
Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Business Journal
Sacramento Union
San Francisco Chronicle
San Jose Mercury News
KCRA Channel 3
Capitol Public Radio
CBS 13/CW31
Fox 40
CBS 5 (Bay Area)
Paid Media Delivered:
• General Audiences:
640.7 million gross media impressions
• Hispanic Audiences:
33 million gross media impressions
• Messages on the only area media in Hmong,
Russian and Lao languages.
Partnership Value:
Partnership contributions, including donated media
value, totaled $918,037.00.
That included more than 7,500 embedded
messages by traffic reporters who referred listeners
to the FixI-5 website during traffic reports.
This increased the effectiveness of the paid media
budget by nearly 800 percent.
Driver Participation on
•More than 1.7 million website visits in 5 months
•More than 6,000 drivers signed up for daily
Fix I-5 email blasts
•More than 3,500 emails to the project in-box
from drivers with questions and comments about the
Driver Feedback
A Sacramento Business Journal survey of readers asked:
“How bad was the first round of closures
on I-5 in downtown Sacramento?”
• Awful, it added a ton of time to my daily commute
• Bad, but it could have been much worse
• A mere inconvenience, especially after learning
alternate routes
• I-5 was closed, when?
Most Importantly:
Thanks to cooperation and support of the public
and the media, a traffic catastrophe was avoided.
• May 30th, as C.C. Myers’ crews were preparing to close
down the first section of I-5, the chief engineer reported
only a half dozen cars in a several minute period.
His response: “You DID it. Everyone knows!”
In many cases, traffic was lighter than normal during the project:
• Overheard by an employee at the Energy Commission
discussing how much lighter the traffic was than normal:
“I wish they’d fix I-5 more often!”
Thanks to the hard work by Caltrans, C.C. Myers, Inc., suppliers,
subcontractors, our partners and the cooperation of the public, the
Interstate was re-opened to traffic in both directions in just 37 work
days – despite delays due to unexpectedly thick concrete
demolition, smoky air and extremely high heat.
FixI-5: DONE!

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