Lowry Tunnel Closure Shows the implications of Commercial Construction

As any local Minneapolis resident knows, Lowry Tunnel is currently under construction. This has resulted in significant road and exit closures, with one local news outlet calling the current traffic situation around the tunnel ‘Carmageddon.’

It’s not a building construction project, nor is it necessarily commercial in nature. The tunnel closure is necessary for some major renovations, ensuring safe passage for years and decades to come. At the same time, it’s a perfect case study to show how your Minnesota construction project can have wide-ranging (and sometimes unintended) consequences.

Understanding the Implications of Your Construction

Most businesses looking to undergo construction do so for a very specific reasons. Whether you build a new space or simply renovate your existing one, the outcome should always be more positive than the current state of your business. But what about the sometimes indirect implications of that project?

Consider the Lowry Tunnel construction project. Chances are that when it’s complete, anyone driving through will appreciate more safety, better roads, and wider lanes. But in the meantime, the inconvenience to commuters and casual travelers alike are difficult to ignore.

These implications are possible for any commercial construction effort. During the renovation (or new construction), and adjacent tenants could be inconvenience by the noise and space required. Meanwhile, renovating an existing space requires planning ahead in order to avoid closing the business altogether. And of course, potential customer inconveniences have to be considered.

The outcome will be positive. The process, however, might not be. As a result, planning ahead and managing public reactions is absolutely vital to make the entire process a success.

Managing Public Reactions as Needed

The last thing you’d want is for your project to get a derogatory nickname akin to ‘Carmageddon’ mentioned above. But to avoid it, you have to have a plan in place that manages all potential public reactions. Here are a few steps that can help you accomplish just that.

  1. Outline all stakeholders potentially affected by the construction. The more comprehensive this list is, the more likely you will be to anticipate and react to potential reactions as needed.
  2. Provide a detailed overview of the positive outcomes you anticipate to all potentially involved. These outcomes should be directly related to them, helping your constituencies better understand why construction is occurring.
  3. Be sure to keep everyone updated about the progress of the construction project. The more transparent you are in the expected timeline, the less likely they will be to provide you with potentially negative reactions.

In other words, managing the public reaction to your construction project requires two things above all: transparency and communication. With both variables in place, you will be able to manage and minimize dissatisfaction among your stakeholders.

How Can You Minimize the Negative Effects of Construction?

Of course, despite even the best efforts to manage and minimize public reactions, some negative opinions will stand out. The key is not to ignore or diminish them, but answer concerns honestly and openly.

When other tenants complain, offer to attend meetings that further talk through the process and how the project could be more accommodating. Temporarily displaced employees may be happier if they get a tour through the site to see first improvements being made to their workplace. Customers, meanwhile, might appreciate a token of loyalty for bearing with you during the construction process.

But ultimately, the best way to minimize the indirect effects of your construction projects is to ensure a high-quality end product. To accomplish that feat, you need to work with a company that has significant experience in helping businesses like yours plan and execute their commercial construction from beginning to end. To learn more about partnering with Rutledge Construction, contact us.