Community Outreach for Reconstruction Projects

BACKGROUND Ms. French is an experienced community liaison working on NYCDOT and NYCDDC bridge and roadway reconstruction projects.  She serves as the mediator between the project owner and the community to solve internal and external construction communications using traditional, digital and social media to provide project updates during the construction.

 

PROFESSIONALEXPERIENCE Construction Community Liaison, NYCDDC Contract HWMWTCA6E, Reconstruction of Beekman Street and Park Place, Manhattan, NY  This project involved installation, reconstruction and replacement of existing sewer, water main, catch basins, roadways, curbs, sidewalk and utilities.  Ms. French informed the surrounding communities of the project with subsequent updates at separate stakeholders meetings for the Beekman Street community and the Park Place community at the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center. Updates were also provided at District Service Cabinet Meetings for Community Board 1; likewise, Ms. French informed elected officials, businesses and residents via e-newsletters, e-notices and lobby postings while informing pedestrians with literature available in strategically placed outdoor literature boxes in the project zone as well as in local stores.  Community outreach efforts included NYCDDC, LMDC, OutreachNY.com and LowerManhattan.info website updates with newsletters, notices and daily construction bulletins.  Ms. French’s efforts included working in conjunction with Small Business Services, NYCDOS, NYCDPR, NYCDOT and the MTA.

Community Liaison, NYCDOT Contracts HBX1104R and HWXP136R, Reconstruction of Grand Concourse over East 161st Street, East 161st Street Underpass and Grand Concourse from East 161st to East 166th Streets, Bronx, NY

The Grand Concourse project involved reconstructing the Grand Concourse from E. 161st Street to E. 166th Street; and E. 161st Street from Sheridan Avenue to Gerard Avenue, including the Grand Concourse underpass. The NYCDOT also replaced the E. 161st Street underpass arch structure, incorporated landscaped urban design features for Lou Gehrig Plaza and added more open space to the neighborhood.  The NYCDOT upgraded street lighting, and added green space, benches and trash receptacles. The reconstruction plan was designed to improve pedestrian and traffic safety, while other plans included revitalizing neighborhood infrastructure with new roadways, sidewalks, dedicated bicycle lanes, trees and planters.  These complex projects involved not only community outreach efforts, but proactive mediation efforts.  Ms. French identified issues and implemented actionable cost-effective public outreach initiatives inclusive of the first Outdoor Literature Box Program for the NYCDOT in order to address outreach concerns in this high pedestrian traffic area; an Ambulance Notification Program for a Senior Citizen Housing Complex; a Historical Progression Photography Project for the Bronx Historical Society and the Bronx Borough President’s office; Farmers Market relocation assistance, and coordinated efforts with Yankee Stadium and the Major League Baseball Association in order to obtain the 2007 home schedule in the summer of 2006 to enable project planning for the following year.  Ms. French worked with videographers and photographers for vault surveys, coordinated with the MTA for bus relocations, residents for their oil deliveries and located a satellite field office for the project team.  Community outreach efforts within the Bronx Civic Center Zone included working with the Bronx Borough President’s Office, Bronx Museum of Art, a Senior Citizen Housing facility, multiple courthouses, businesses, residents and merchant associations.  Updates were also provided at District Service Cabinet Meetings for Community Board 4, and to the FDNY and NYPD.  After a thorough demographics overview of the impacted area, Ms. French vetted translators for bilingual newsletters to provide both English and Spanish newsletters and notices.  Ms. French was commended by the Mayor’s office for exemplary community outreach product.

Community Liaison, NYCDOT Contract HBK1039A, MTA-NYCT Sea Beach Line Reconstruction Project, Brooklyn, NY

This project involved the reconstruction of the 15th, 17th, 18th and 20th A­­­­venue Bridges over New York City Transit’s Sea Beach Line. Age, weather and increased traffic had se­verely deteriorated these ninety-year old arch-barrel bridges.  All four bridges were close to subway stations and their reconstruction affected both local community and transit users.  Ms. French took over the ongoing outreach efforts with Community Board 11, elected officials and the 15th Avenue Bridge community while starting strategic outreach efforts for the 17th Avenue Bridge community. By maintaining open lines of com­munication between impacted businesses and the Project Team, Ms. French was able to address and resolve issues of concern to the community with positive results.  Mediation involved coordination of construction activities with banquet hall events along with a wooden fence to make a side entrance blocking the project view from banquet hall guests.  Ms. French worked with the 18th Avenue Merchants Association and the Project Team to ensure adequate signage for pedestrians and motorists, developed relation­ships with local businesses to ensure a constant dialogue during construction and provided timely interaction with Community Board 11 and elected officials affording a smooth transition between four distinct bridge reconstruc­tions.  These community outreach efforts brought about an unheard of level of turnaround in how the community viewed the City, receiving letters of praise from Community Board 11 and the 18th Avenue Merchants Association for out­reach initiatives.

CERTIFICATION
  • OSHA Construction Safety and Health Training
  • Con Edison Public Relations 101 Course
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