The Fort Worth Transportation & Public Works Department is testing a software platform to communicate project updates and timelines to residents, commuters and businesses affected by construction projects throughout the city.

According to a city press release, Citibot, an existing software tool, is the platform being tested by public works to send text messages to residents who opt in for updates. Currently, text message updates are being used for the University Drive Project. Anyone who is interested in receiving updates can visit the University Project page and use the QR code to sign up. A link with instructions to the Citibot signup page will be the first message subscribers will receive.

Successful modifications: Transportation and public works officials worked with the software owner to modify features that allow for automatic upload of construction schedules and predetermined text messages, according to the press release. An initial pilot on the Fossil Creek Boulevard concrete maintenance project was successful. Survey feedback showed communications via text messages reached more residents than certain traditional project communications methods.

What's next: Transportation and public works staff are in the final stages of internal process development and will soon be rolling it out to the transportation and public works capital delivery project managers for use on up to 50 projects, according to the press release.

“[Transportation and public works officials] will assess how the new automated platform performs on current projects, like the University Project, and pursue any needed modifications to best serve the public,” Transportation and Public Works Director Lauren Prieur said.