In 1951, US Highway 36 between Denver and Boulder opened as a four-lane toll road. Bonds were paid off early and the tolling infrastructure removed in 1968. Fast forward 40 years, and residents and commuters in Denver, Boulder and every municipality along the way were calling for structural upgrades and traffic-mitigating improvements.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) conducted an extensive environmental impact study, and announced that it would initiate major improvements to the roadway. Funding came via CDOT’s first-ever public-private partnership (P3), an innovative tool for financing infrastructure projects that puts the majority of the financial risk – and rewards – for construction, maintenance and toll collection on a private company.
Building upon six years working together on communications about the environmental impact study, CDOT again turned to CIG for help with a public information program about construction. CIG envisioned the communication strategy from start to finish; embedded on-site with other communicators, CDOT, the engineers and construction crews; and took unexpected events in stride to keep residents, commuters and other important stakeholders up to speed on the project.