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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Himle Horner, Inc. Will Manage Public Affairs for I-35W Bridge Reconstruction

Public affairs and community engagement for the reconstruction of the collapsed I-35W bridge will be managed by Minneapolis-based public relations firm Himle Horner, Inc. Himle Horner is part of the design-build team that won the construction award from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The project will be headed by the design and construction team of Flatiron Constructors, Manson Construction and FIGG Bridge Engineers.

"We’re honored to be working with the Flatiron, Manson and FIGG team, which has been committed since day one to engaging citizens in the design and construction activities of the 35W bridge," said Todd Rapp, managing director of Himle Horner and the lead account person on the project. "In the coming months, we’ll be focused on getting Minnesotans involved in the final design and bridging any gaps between community expectations and the realities of building a safe, high quality bridge that reflects community values.

"The country will be watching closely as a new bridge rises from tragedy. We hope to do our part to help Minnesotans and visitors to the Minneapolis area embrace the new bridge," Rapp said.

The State of Minnesota signed a contract with the Flatiron, Manson and FIGG team Oct. 8 to immediately finish design and build a new 35W bridge. The previous bridge collapsed Aug. 1.

As part of its contract with the team, Himle Horner will develop the project’s public information plan, develop and implement core communications tools with various audiences (including policymakers, elected officials, neighborhood and other community organizations), manage media relations and conduct other public outreach and engagement efforts.

Rapp brings 25 years of Minnesota public affairs experience to this project, most recently as the project director and day-to-day campaign manager for Minnesota ’s Transportation Amendment—which won approval by Minnesota voters in 2006.

Himle Horner specializes in public relations, crisis management and public affairs. In recent years, the firm has played a pivotal role in developing and implementing multi-faceted communications strategies in support of a comprehensive statewide clean indoor air law, a private/public genomics research partnership, enhanced urban open spaces and the development of Minnesota ’s first commuter rail line.