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Structured Public Involvement in Context-Sensitive Large Bridge Design Using Casewise Visual Evaluation: Case Study of Section 2 of Ohio River Bridges Project

JournalTransportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board
PublisherTransportation Research Board of the National Academies
ISSN0361-1981 (Print)
IssueVolume 2028 / 2007 Design of Structures 2007
CategoryBridges, Other Structures, and Hydraulics and Hydrology
Online DateThursday, February 14, 2008
Keiron Bailey1, Ted Grossardt2, John Ripy2, Laura Toole3, J. B. Williams3, John Dietrick3

1Department of Geography and Regional Development, University of Arizona, Harvill Building, Box 2, 1103 East 2nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85712
2Kentucky Transportation Center, University of Kentucky, 304 Engineering Annex, Lexington, KY 40506-0281
3 Michael Baker Jr., Inc., Suite 210, 9750 Ormsby Station Road, Louisville, KY 40223


Subject to engineering constraints, bridges should present a pleasing visual aspect to their user communities. The research team extended its structured public involvement (SPI) protocol using casewise visual evaluation (CAVE) to the field of context-sensitive large-scale bridge design. The context-sensitive design process was used for Section 2 of the Louisville Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project. Key design parameters including bridge type, height, symmetry, complexity, and tunnel effect (superstructure shape) were identified by bridge designers. During a 3-month period, an SPI protocol was used to determine community preferences from Kentucky and Indiana participants. Group preferences were gathered rapidly, anonymously, and fairly from a focus group by using electronic polling technology to evaluate potential designs. A preference model was built by using CAVE, and a range of nonlinear preference variations relative to the design parameters was investigated. The favorable public evaluation results of the SPI process using CAVE are presented, and the reasons for its high performance are discussed. Emphasis is placed on the need for a close collaboration between bridge designers and public involvement specialists. The project demonstrates how an analytic approach to public involvement that integrates technology into the dialogic relationship between designers and the public allows for the achievement of inclusive, successful context-sensitive design even for large, complex infrastructure projects.

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  1. Henisz, Witold J. (2012) Toward a unified theory of project governance: economic, sociological and psychological supports for relational contracting. Engineering Project Organization Journal 2(1-2)
  2. Bailey, Keiron (2010) Toward Structured Public Involvement: Justice, Geography and Collaborative Geospatial/Geovisual Decision Support Systems. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100(1)
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