KCI provided public involvement, public relations, and environmental monitoring support to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) for the $150 million Susquehanna River Bridge replacement project.
The new Susquehanna River Bridges are signature structures for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, and are the first precast concrete segmental vehicular bridges to be built in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The project is located between Mileposts 245 and Milepost 248 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in York and Dauphin Counties. The new bridges stand on an alignment located just 60-feet north of the existing structure. They were constructed right before the eyes of Turnpike customers as nearly 28,000 vehicles per day continued to use the old river crossing as the new bridges were being built.
As the environmental monitor, KCI conducted pre-construction and construction phase monitoring including the identification of sensitive features, plan reviews, permit modification reviews and tracking. Specific environmental areas targeted for monitoring included water quality maintenance, natural resource protection, stream and wetland mitigation, and recreation.
KCI’s public relations program focused on educating a wildly diverse audience (ranging from the local Boy Scouts to the Department of Roads, Mongolia) on the staging and erection process of the most innovative bridge construction project undertaken by the Commission in almost 50 years. Our team maximized every opportunity to publicize and chronicle the completion of this high profile project utilizing tools such as special events, educational literature, an interactive project-specific website with streaming video, project site tours, and a speakers’ bureau. In partnership with JPL Productions, KCI assisted in the production of a digital documentary to capture history in the making – the construction of the first major vehicular bridges of their kind to be built in Pennsylvania.
In collaboration with the Commission’s public relations office, KCI delivered “one of the Turnpike’s most comprehensive, proactive public relations initiatives staged for any construction venture on the Turnpike system.”
Over 200 project tours, presentations and exhibits were conducted in conjunction with this project. Feature articles were published in trade magazines such as the Highway Bridge Builder, Central Pennsylvania Business Journal, the Construction Equipment Guide, and Transportation Builder. The project website averaged over 5,000 visits per month. KCI and the Turnpike were invited to present the Susquehanna River Bridge public relations program at the 2008 Ohio Technical Engineers Conference in Columbus, Ohio.
The construction phase culminated with two rare and exciting public events. The Susquehanna River Bridge Community Day drew thousands of people to partake in a once-in-a-lifetime walk across the new bridge, complete with majestic views of the Susquehanna River, before the bridge opened to Turnpike traffic. The walking event was immediately followed by the 5K Once and Done Turnpike Run that attracted more than 850 runners and brought in more than $100,000 in proceeds for Pennsylvania’s Boys and Girls Clubs.
KCI maximized every opportunity and outlet to publicize and chronicle the construction of the new Susquehanna River Bridge, making it one of the most well-documented and publicly involved projects for the Pennsylvania Turnpike.