PennDOT has created a website for current and future I-70 websites
Thanks for the heads-up.
Ironically, for the one project that everyone has perhaps been waiting for the most—the reconfiguration of the I-70/79 south junction—neither the planned configuration nor the projected completion date is provided.
The "detailed mapping" is anything but. It's simply a scan of the PennDOT county map. And the construction is simply described as "in progress."
PennDOT's project websites are so hit-and-miss with the information they provide. Some are great, some are abysmal (which I guess is true for most state DOTs).
What I found while working for PennDOT is that for most non-roadgeek members of the traveling public, when people look at project information they want to know one thing: "How will it affect me?" This breaks down into the following pieces of information they want:
1. What will it look like when it's done? (Final configuation.)
2. When will it begin?
3. What kind of pain will I have to endure while it's under construction?
4. When will it finish? (When will the pain end?)
Qualitatively, people want pictures (diagrams, renderings, before-and-after comparisons, etc.), not just endless text.
It amazes me how often information is provided about a project without some or all of these four items. Or a site contains paragraphs of text describing in detail what the planned configuation will be, but doesn't contain a single diagram. As if the average viewer is supposed to reconstruct the thing in his or her head.
Worse still are the sites which provide little snippets that don't contain most of the necessary information, but do contain details like who the contractor is, who the DOT's project team members are, what legislative district the project is in, etc. In other words, some DOT employee is simply dumping the details of his or her world onto the screen without translating the information into the world of general public. It breaks one of the most basic rules of effective communication: always communicate in the language of the target audience, not your own language.
Don't get me wrong; providing all that additional information is OK, even great. But when they're included and the most basic of basics are not, it just frustrates the public, which presumably is the very opposite of what is intended.
Secondarily, in my experience people generally only care obliquely about things like cost, financing packages, and the like. More out of curiosity than anything else. Unless they are opposed to a project; then they care about the cost so they can use it as a weapon to defeat it.
Of course, I'm speaking generally here. There are always exceptions.
Thus endeth my rant for the day. As you were; carry on.