Ferry system, SunPass on commission’s radar

The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners on Thursday will approve terms with the Florida Department of Transportation to implement a SunPass system at the Bob Sikes toll bridge, allocate $1.38 million dollars to widen Muscogee Road, and approve an agreement to reimbursed for design of a ferry landing at Quietwater Beach.

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The U.S. 98 Navarre Parkway resurfacing project is complete.

The resurfacing and drainage improvements are complete for U.S. 98 from the Gulf Breeze Zoo to the Okaloosa County line. Now that the road is smoother, wider and has accommodation for bicyclists, the Santa Rosa County Public Works Department is starting its beautification activities in the Navarre area.

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FDOT receives high marks from the Florida Transportation Commission

The Florida Transportation Commission (FTC) released its Performance and Production Review of the Florida Department of Transportation Friday, which found the department met or exceeded the objectives of 16 of the 17 primary measures for Fiscal Year 2014/15.

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EPR wants to keep you updated on news related to roadway engineering and affecting Floridians.

Using Digital and Social Media to Keep the Public Informed

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Let’s face it, few people enjoy it when road construction pops up near their home, work or along their travel routes. Sometimes people get a bit cranky. One of the most effective ways to keep the public calm and to head off minor issues before they become big complaints is to keep people informed.

When performing Public Involvement, we at EPR maintain an open dialogue with the public through multiple avenues. From offline face-to-face, telephone calls and letters to digital emails, eNewsletters, websites, Facebook and SMS texting, we are able to reach people who embrace technology and those who shun or avoid it.

Social Media
Social Media platforms like Facebook have been very successful in providing project updates and notifying the public of scheduled and unexpected lane closures. Some posts reach thousands of people thanks to the page followers who share those posts. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) prefers that Public Involvement (PI) consultants utilize Facebook over creating a job-specific website. For examples of the FDOT project Facebook pages developed by EPR, go to: US98NavarreParkway and StateRoad123*.

Project websites can be developed as an online portal where people interested in the project can receive updates and find downloadable flyers, maps, brochures and more. While a website is less interactive than a Facebook project page, it does allow the consultants to store not only photos but multi-page PDF files with active hyperlinks right there on the site. For example, the MyNavyBlvd.com website was developed as part of EPR’s public involvement activities for the Escambia County Florida Community Redevelopment Agency. By constructing a special “Downloads” page, we were able to provide an easy to find and navigate location where they can download documents from the project information flyer to a PDF of the Kick-off Meeting slide presentation. Also, unlike Facebook, which continuously buries posts as new information is posted, a project website offers a static environment where repeat visitors can easily navigate back to the information they found the week before. Both platforms, websites and Facebook pages have their pros and cons. While the FDOT prefers project Facebook pages, Escambia County prefers project websites.

eNewsletters and Text Alerts
EPR also uses two other digital tools as a means to support the Facebook page or project website. Those interested in the project can sign-up to receive the project’s eNewsletter and/or SMS Text alerts, which are for emergency notifications. The eNewsletters are emailed to subscribers as milestones are reached throughout the project. SMS Text Alerts are sent to the subscriber’s phone when an emergency, such as an accident that unexpectedly closes a lane(s), causes substantial backup of traffic. Standard text messaging charges apply, so we limit the text alerts to urgent information that needs to be received by the public as soon as possible.

These four tools are only some of the methods that EPR uses to conduct the most comprehensive public involvement campaigns. For more examples of our public involvement activities, please review our project descriptions located on our Public Involvement pages.

*The improvements being made along State Road (S.R.) 123 are part of three separate FDOT-funded construction projects (Segment 2, Segment 3 and Segment 4). Since the work is taking place on all three segments at the same time, and since the three projects look like one from the public’s viewpoint, a single project Facebook page, StateRoad123, was designed and constructed by EPR, the lead PI team – Segment 4 – and is jointly maintained with the PI team performing Public Involvement duties for Segments 2 and 3.

EPR Hires Randy Fuller As Their New Meeting Facilitator and Assistant Marketing Director

Randy Fuller - EPR's Assistant Marketing Director and Public Facilitator

EPR’s Assistant Marketing Director and Public Facilitator

With over 30 years of public speaking and community service, Mr. Fuller has been a facilitator for public involvement meetings and presented to small groups and to groups of over 3,000 attendees. Mr. Fuller has also overseen the designing/planning of the meeting setup and layout and interviewed numerous attendees. For the past 6 years, Mr. Fuller has expanded his community outreach involvement efforts to include the deaf and hard of hearing and can communicate effectively in American Sign Language at a volunteer public-speaker level. Mr. Fuller has also been involved in the training and teaching of public speakers for the past 6 years.

Adding to his skills as a public speaker and facilitator, his experience in Drafting & Design Engineering, as well as his involvement in the construction field for many years as both a volunteer contractor and inspector, provides him a broad knowledgebase that is critical for the facilitation of clear communication between private, commercial and governmental developers and the public. His knowledge of field data collection and assimilation of such data into projects/plans, and the clear presentation of such information has helped solidify community cohesion and agreement on numerous projects. Mr. Fuller has worked with both private, commercial and governmental developers in the design and planning of parks, buildings and parking areas.

We are excited to welcome Randy Fuller to the EPR family.

Engineering, Planning Firm Graduates from Business Incubator

EPR_RibbonCutting_051314_resized_045GREATER PENSACOLA, Fla. – May 22, 2014 – The Gulf Coast Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), along with representatives from the Greater Pensacola Chamber and Pensacola State College, recently announced the graduation of one of its business incubator tenants, Engineering & Planning Resources, P.C. (EPR). The announcement also recognized EPR for its recent success, as well as its role in driving innovation within the local economy.

With corporate offices located in Florida and Virginia, EPR is a civil and multimodal transportation engineering and planning firm that specializes in designing and carrying out comprehensive public plans that address challenges for agencies, communities and the private sector. Having started with just two full-time employees, the company has since tripled in staff size. EPR is also certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Minority Business Enterprise.

“Our staff combines a variety of design and management experience to furnish practical, cost-conscious project solutions that are uniquely designed to provide customized services for each of our clients,” said Bonita Player, P.E., the principal and majority owner of EPR. “The CIE truly provided a professional foundation that allowed our company to grow and develop, and we
are thrilled to know that our business validates our region’s ever-progressing climate for success.”

Designed to take small, early-stage businesses that have what the industry calls “high-growth potential,” the CIE business incubator is a partnership between the Greater Pensacola Chamber and Pensacola State College and provides entrepreneurs with reduced-cost office space and professional guidance, all within an environment conducive to spawning rapid growth.

“The Chamber is committed to supporting businesses that create jobs and can sustain long-term economic growth within our ommunities,” said Greater Pensacola Chamber President Jerry Maygarden. “With most new jobs coming from small businesses, it is always gratifying when we can help out one of our own, and we look forward to seeing EPR’s continued success.”

The CIE unveiled a new, dynamic Coworking Lab in February designed for local entrepreneurs, app developers, programmers and small startups looking to work in an innovative and collaborative work environment. In addition to office space, tenants of the lab receive high-speed Internet connection, fax capabilities, access to the CIE’s conference rooms and the invaluable opportunity to rub elbows with like-minded professionals.

“One of the greatest features about the CIE is that it targets early-stage, high-growth companies to increase their chances of success,” said Pensacola State College President Dr. Ed Meadows. “Businesses such as EPR are a wonderful example of how the CIE helps to foster and expand small startup companies that will in turn, contribute to our local economy.”

For more information about the CIE, contact Kelly Reeser, Director of Entrepreneurial Development for the Greater Pensacola Chamber, at (850) 696-1314 or kreeser@pensacolachamber.com.

We’ve Moved

We've Moved!

EPR has moved around the corner to
309 West Gregory Street in downtown Pensacola


Local firm has answer to turtle lighting problem, says owner

In the battle of turtle-friendly lighting versus public safety, one local company says they may have found a solution…

“We’re basically converting it to LED and turtles aren’t as attracted to the light,” he said.

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309 W. Gregory St. • Pensacola, FL 32502 • T: (850) 471-9579/696-1303 • F: (850) 471-2086