Improve McHenry Avenue
The McHenry Avenue corridor serves as a direct link between the Cities of Modesto and Escalon, connects State Route 108 and 120, and includes two narrow bridge structures. San Joaquin County is replacing the two bridges, one over the Stanislaus River and the other over the South San Joaquin Irrigation District (SSJID) canal, to accommodate future growth in the region and satisfy seismic design standards. The Improve McHenry Avenue project also includes roadway widening, shoulder widening, and the installation of a two-way left center lane and traffic signal to accommodate alternative travel modes including bicyclists and enhance safety, interregional traffic circulation, and air quality.
AIM developed and is implementing a robust community outreach and public information program to inform the local and regional community about the project, answer questions about upcoming construction activities, and provide updates throughout the 3-year project. Prior to construction, AIM planned and facilitated a pre-construction open house. More than 115 community members attended to learn about the project and construction schedule, review a video rendering of the project, ask questions, and provide input. AIM also created and distributed a pre-construction online questionnaire to help the project team understand current travel patterns, destinations, and modes of travel in order to determine potential traffic impacts and construction notification strategies.
To notify the local and regional community about the start of construction, the pre-construction open house, and online questionnaire, AIM developed and distributed a direct mailer, flyers, email notifications and reminders, newspaper advertisements, and radio advertisements in English and Spanish. AIM coordinated with key stakeholder groups including businesses along the corridor, local police and emergency response services, school districts, and local transit providers to further notify local residents, employees, teachers, and parents who may be impacted by future construction activities. AIM also developed and is updating a mobile-friendly project website with a unique project logo and brand, “Improve McHenry.”
AIM filmed, edited and produced an informational video about a concrete pour for the project to engage the community and share video clips and photos to show some of the work that goes into building a bridge. The video featured construction photos and video clips as well as interviews with County staff to highlight the innovative solutions the project team has implemented to mitigate traffic congestion for the traveling public.
As the project moves forward, AIM continues to keep the community at large informed through text-message alerts, e-mail notifications, social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, a project hotline and e-mail address, construction update e-newsletters, and informational videos at key milestones.