ARTBA formally presents Sand Creek honor

The American Roadbuilders and Transportation Association formally presented a national award for Idaho's Sand Creek Byway community relations efforts this week. Dave Butzier of Connecting Idaho Partners accepted the award on behalf of URS Energy & Construction and ITD Wednesday at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

ARTBA selected the project as the best example of community relations in the public sector. Following is ARTBA's formal announcement:

Community Relations: Public Sector
First Place: Idaho Transportation Department (IDT) and URS Energy & Construction

For over 50 years, building an alternate route for U.S. 95 around Sandpoint to improve traffic flow and safety has been a major topic of discussion. To obtain broad-based public support for construction of the Sand Creek Byway, ITD, in partnership with URS Energy & Construction, engaged local residents from the project’s beginning, with the idea that the new bypass should “fit into the community,” not the “community into the project.”

The group created a public information office and interviewed more than 120 stakeholders, which led to the creation of a citizen-led Design Advisory Committee. The outreach also included public hearings for 250 participants and a booth at the county fair visited by over 3,000 people

Newsletters and post cards were distributed to more than 11,000 people. Public participation proved an invaluable part of the design, environmental and construction processes and led to several context sensitive design solutions and enhancements.

Published 6-1-2012