Since late 2022, Capital Strategic Solutions (CSS) has been working with the Town of Weymouth, Green International Affiliates, and P.A. Landers on the Columbian Square Improvement Project in downtown Weymouth, Massachusetts. CSS CEO Nichol Figueiredo, Senior Project Manager Paul Scott, and Chief Creative Officer Mike Tusino have been working with our project partners to ensure clear communication and coordination on this multifaceted project. The project includes an innovative design to improve traffic, promote pedestrian safety, and to make the historic village center more walkable and accessible to the community.
Mayor Hedlund’s office used $7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to carry out the work, along with $183,000 from a state grant to complete preliminary design work. Specifics of the project include adding a traffic signal at Pleasant, Union and Columbian streets and other improvements in the commercial area off of Route 18 near South Shore Hospital. The scope of work also includes improving crosswalks by making them more visible, adding a radar speed display, shifting parking spaces, and adding corner plazas with seating that could be used for public events or to make the area more appealing to visitors.
Early on in the project, the CSS team laid the groundwork for communication many months before the groundbreaking ceremony. By engaging with all stakeholders in Columbian Square area. From businesses in the square, to residents on neighboring streets, our team worked to create a communication network from the ground up to build trust, identify their needs, and expectations, and how to appropriately communicate with them to ensure the best outcomes and project success.
As the project began in early April 2023 with drainage repairs and improvements, the CSS team opened a project hotline and sent out a weekly Anticipated Construction Schedule on the Town of Weymouth’s website and project social media pages, informing the community of changes to traffic and anticipated construction in the area. Whether it’s drainage work, or paving, informing the community consistently and accurately has built a strong trust, and allowed for the needs of residents and businesses to be met.
Our job in Columbian Square is to ensure that two-way communication with all stakeholders – businesses, residents, and citizens alike – is seamless. My proudest memories this season have come from making authentic connections with community members and doing everything in my ability to validate and mitigate their concerns.
Prior to the start of construction and in partnership with the Weymouth Department of Planning and Community Development, CSS launched the #ColumbianSqCornerstones social media campaign to encourage community members to continue to support local entrepreneurs and attract new customers to the area. Another goal of the campaign was to show why the public’s dollars are best spent locally during the ongoing construction. The campaign has been incredibly successful in highlighting our community stakeholders while construction works to reshape community spaces in Columbian Square, the project Facebook page has acquired over 1,293 followers and reached 27,708 unique accounts.
Our Capital Strategic Solutions’ multi-faceted approach to managing communications has been vital to ensure smooth two-way communication, high stakeholder satisfaction, and maximum productivity. Our team looks forward to 2024 as this project continues to reshape the Columbian Square Community.
Learn more about Columbian Square by visiting the project website at https://www.weymouth.ma.us/columbian-square-improvement-project