Woodrow Wilson Bridge

During a decade and a half of evolving communications challenges, our team helped transform the public reputation of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project from a magnet for controversy to a regional point of pride.

Our creative initiatives to boost the $2.5 billion project’s public standing and earn goodwill included:

  • A “blow up the old bridge” contest that motivated more than 300 regular bridge crossers to share their tales of woe in crossing the old bridge, which was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, CBS’s This Morning, gained nearly 100 million known media impressions in the U.S. and was covered internationally
  • Focusing on bald eagles nesting adjacent to the construction site to win positive attention to the project’s environmental program. With the raptors involved in an apparent “love triangle” that included a vicious aerial battle, we tongue-in-cheek leveraged a celebrity love triangle saga occurring at the time to gain major local and national media attention, including a CBS Sunday Morning News profile
  • “Stay-away weekends” in which we captured enormous media attention to divert traffic whenever the Capital Beltway was reduced to a single lane. By effectively commandeering the public microphone, we helped ensure traffic backups were on par with normal weekdays, as opposed to 15-mile queues that were predicted in traffic modeling.

Our multi-faceted communications approach included:

  • Proactive media relations
  • Multi-media marketing warning the public about construction-related congestion and encouraging ride sharing
  • Materials development, including newsletters, brochures, fact sheets, an interactive website and production of videos
  • Elected officials liaison
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Community relations

Our team’s work was recognized with a Public Relations Society of America “Thoth Award” for outstanding community relations.