Vecellio Companies Go The Extra Mile For Residents, Businesses Near Work Zones
(3rd Quarter 2007)
Above: Milled debris is cleaned up and brought to a waiting truck by Loader Operator Donnie Hilderman on a Ranger Central project.
Diamond-shaped road construction signs and bright orange cones announce to the world that road improvements are just around the corner. But for those who live or do business near road construction zones, the change in routine can be an exercise in patience.
The Vecellio companies understand this and go the extra mile to keep area businesses and residents informed and satisfied when road construction impacts their typical routine.
The group’s commitment to customer service is evident on such projects as the FDOT contract to improve SR-A1A in the Town of Palm Beach, FL. Ranger’s Central Division is not only well ahead of schedule, it has maintained a very high level of customer satisfaction based on the feedback received.
Addressing Concerns With Care And Communication
Above: Chris Walls works the screed while Charles Banks helps with shovel work on a paving project for Ranger’s Central Division. Operating the paver is Timothy Hanford.
Above: When improvements require lane closures, every effort is made to operate as efficiently as possible.
Ranger’s project involves milling and resurfacing a 2.2-mile segment between SR-80 (Southern Boulevard) and SR-704 (Royal Palm Way), drainage improvements to alleviate flooding, and the addition of mast arms for traffic signals. The $3.5 million FDOT project is scheduled for completion by year’s end.
A portion of this project passes through downtown Palm Beach, challenging the project team to work around motorists, pedestrians and existing utilities in the right-of-way.
“This is a very sensitive project in a high-profile area,” confirms James Daniel, senior project engineer with Eisman & Russo Consulting Engineers. Daniel is responsible for administering the contract for the FDOT. “To date I’ve been very pleasantly surprised about how very few issues there have been.”
The secret to the project team’s success: Working with residents, businesses and city administration to circumvent concerns before they become problems.
Before the project got underway, the Ranger Central project team sent a letter to homeowners and businesses informing them of the work, the schedule, and who they should contact with concerns. To ensure they are in step with residential needs, the project team meets at the beginning of each week with the FDOT Public Information Officer (PIO) to address any residential complaints. In addition, the project team gives the PIO a two-week look-ahead at the schedule, enabling the FDOT to keep businesses and residents apprised of progress.
FDOT, Businesses Benefit From Project Team Innovation
Above: Ranger crew members spread asphalt at an intersection on a milling and resurfacing project.
In a move that Daniel characterized as “innovative,” Ranger Central also sought city permission to pave the downtown portion at night to minimize impact to businesses. The project team placed the first lift of asphalt during the hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., eliminating traffic jams while preserving the city’s aesthetics.
The team has further worked with town and business leadership to schedule work around large events.
“Ranger has been very good to work with,” affirms Chuck Langley, Assistant Director of Engineering for the Town of Palm Beach. “They are aware of the issues in town and know how to treat the break between the business and residential areas of the project.”
Langley cites as examples the nighttime paving in the business area, and the care that the project team has taken with homeowners’ landscaping and irrigation systems.
“They recognized the difference and approached it properly,” Langley says.
In addition to minimizing disturbances to businesses and residents, the team has worked hard to curtail impacts to the schedule and FDOT’s budget. By value engineering the trench work portion of the project, Ranger Central diminished the potential for claims and launched the team far ahead of schedule.
Partnering With Stakeholders Leads To Better Outcomes
Above: Roller Operators Wilfred Sonson and Erick Green compact a layer of asphalt pavement on a Ranger resurfacing project.
Ranger Central’s efforts to become a partner with residents and business owners during construction is improving the overall outcome — better roadways and enhanced drainage — while positively impacting how the community views the FDOT.
“Everyone is buying into the mission of ‘get it done’ and ‘get it done right’,” Daniel says.
The division is applying these same principles to a similar SR-A1A project in Delray Beach. The contract calls for milling and resurfacing 2.5 miles of the roadway from Linton Blvd. through George Bush Blvd. This stretch of roadway includes a significant amount of residential and commercial frontage that faces the beach, attracting tourists and residents alike throughout the day and into the night.
To accommodate this level of complexity, the project team has met with area businesses to identify their concerns and find the best solutions. In addition, the project team will make as much progress as possible until mid-November, when they will stop work and clear out the jobsite in time for the tourist season to start. Work will resume next spring.
Endeavors like these are typical of the Vecellio companies, where a focus on customer service is improving the outcomes on a wide range of projects.
It’s all part of helping the industry transform the public’s perception of road construction from a potential hassle into a positive experience, ensuring better, smoother and safer transportation corridors with a minimum of disruption or inconvenience.