The Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Project is the largest public works project in California history. In addition to making the bridge, which opened to the public in 1936, seismically sound, the newly redesigned East Span will transform the bridge into a global engineering icon. The Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee, which oversees the seismic retrofit of toll bridges throughout California, approved an extensive Bay Bridge Communications Plan in 2005 to educate and inform the public and other stakeholders about all aspects of seismic construction, including the signature element of the new East Span, the Self-Anchored Suspension Span. Communication and outreach also focused on the shifting of traffic to the Yerba Buena Island Detour and the demolition and rebuilding of the West Approach to the bridge in San Francisco in its original footprint.
Circlepoint’s communications plan championed diverse strategies and methods for informing drivers and other target audiences about construction activities and major traffic impacts during the seismic retrofit of the bridge. The plan included operation of public information offices at the construction campus and Treasure Island, development of communications materials, community outreach, agency coordination, media relations, and documentation of construction. The team launched innovative online communications channels, including the Webby Award-winning BayBridge360, a website dedicated to delivering videos, photos and animations that give viewers a rare front-row seat of the astonishing construction that has to be seen to be believed. The project also became the first construction project ever featured on Google Earth. The team also created the Media Bar, an online repository of hi-res videos and photos for the media to use in their print, broadcast and online reporting.