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Building Project Support and Avoiding Controversy by Letting a Community Design Its Own Wastewater Conveyance System – The King County Madsen Creek Interceptor Replacement Project

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This paper describes an intensive public involvement effort to secure the neighborhood support for the replacement of a sewer interceptor through an active and concerned local community. Previous replacement efforts had failed because of public opposition and denial of permits. To build trust and credibility with the local community residents and avoid a repetition of community mobilization against a project, the team engaged the local community in evaluating and selecting a preferred replacement pipeline alternative. The project team helped the community develop a set of community values that were used to evaluate various technical approaches to the pipeline's replacement, and then empowered community members to assist with the alternatives evaluation and project selection. The project team's citizen participation effort included a series of outreach efforts, public meetings, and citizen workshops, all compressed into a 90-day period to take advantage of a roadway realignment project previously scheduled. As a result of the intense public involvement effort and the strong citizen support, the utility was willing to pursue and implement the selected alternative in spite of its potential higher construction costs, higher risks, and difficulties finding contractors willing to perform the construction work.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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