NCDOT Awards $2.8 Million Design-Build Contract to Replace Bridges in Cherokee, Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties Wednesday, March 07, 2012

RALEIGH — N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti has awarded a $2.8 million design-build contract to E.R. Snell Contractor Inc. of Snellville, Ga., to replace five bridges in western North Carolina.

The company will replace bridges in Cherokee, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties. Work can begin as early as April 2 and is scheduled for completion by Nov. 1, 2014.

The contract is to replace the following bridges:

•    The bridge over Owl Creek on Owl Creek Road in Cherokee County;
•    The bridge over Dicks Creek on Dicks Creek Road in Jackson County;
•    The bridge over Fisher Creek on Fisher Creek Road in Jackson County;
•    The bridge over Poplar Creek on Poplar Cove Road in Macon County; and
•    The bridge over Chestnut Cove Creek on Chestnut Cove Creek Road in Swain County.

This project will utilize the design-build method, which allows project design, environmental permitting, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and construction to take place at the same time, under one contract. This method reduces overall construction time, helps the department avoid cost inflation, allows the contractor to make innovations that save taxpayers money, lessens environmental impact and alleviates driving delays for motorists.

This is one of 29 contracts totaling $167.9 million awarded recently by Conti for highway and bridge projects across North Carolina. NCDOT awarded the contracts to the lowest bidders, as required by state law. The bids received on the projects awarded came in about 7.5 percent, or about $13.5 million, below NCDOT estimates.

Since Gov. Bev Perdue took office in January of 2009, NCDOT has awarded 28 design-build contracts totaling $1.7 billion.

The contract is among 17 to be let by June 2012 using a new concept called express design-build, which can go from zero to construction in eight months. The concept is more efficient than traditional methods in that it does not require a technical proposal; the contract award winner is selected solely on low bid.  The projects will replace about 175 bridges across all 14 highway divisions.

The projects will create private-sector contractor jobs immediately while improving the economy over the long term through investments in bridge and highway infrastructure.


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