NCDOT Awards $9.6 Million Design-Build Contract to Replace 15 Bridges in Caldwell, Ashe, Watauga, Avery and Wilkes Counties Monday, May 07, 2012

RALEIGH — N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti has awarded a $9.6 million design-build contract to replace six bridges in Wilkes County, four in Avery County, two bridges each in Ashe and Watauga counties, and one in Caldwell County.
The contract was awarded to Crowder Construction Co. of Charlotte. Work can begin as early as May 29 and be completed by Nov. 1, 2015.

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 six bridges in Wilkes County being replaced, and detours around the projects, are located on:
•    Dr. Miles Road over Naked Creek in Ferguson: Take Dr. Miles Road to Dragstrip Road
      to U.S. 421, or Dr. Miles Road to Mount Pleasant Road to U.S. 421.
•    Middle Fork Road over an unnamed tributary for the Middle Prong Roaring River in
      Hayes: Take Middle Fork Road to Shumate Mountain Road to Traphill Road, or Middle
      Fork Road to Absher Road to Traphill Road.
•    Piney Grove Church Road over Double Creek in Hayes: Take Piney Grove Church Road
      to Absher Road, or Piney Grove Church Road to Long Bottom Road to Absher Road.
•    Buckwheat Road over Buckwheat Branch in McGrady:  Take Buckwheat Road to N.C.
     18, or Buckwheat Road to Vannoy Road to N.C. 18.
•    Two on Vannoy Road over the North Fork of the Reddies River in McGrady: Take
      Vannoy Road to N.C. 18, or Vannoy Road to Buckwheat Road to N.C. 18.

The four bridges in Avery County being replaced are located on:
•    Alton Palmer Road over Curtis Creek in Cranberry;
•    Birchfield Creek Road over Birchfield Creek in Minneapolis;
•    Shoemaker Road over Shoemaker Creek in Banner Elk; and
•    Dark Ridge Road over Trivette Branch in Beech Mountain: Take Dark Ridge Road to
      Beech Mountain Road, or Dark Ridge Road to Clawson Road (in Tennessee) to Poga
      Road (Tennessee) to Stoney Hollow Road (in N.C.) to Flat Springs Road to Beech
      Mountain Road..

The two bridges in Ashe County being replaced are located on:
•    Rich Hill Road over Rich Hill Creek in Clifton; and
•    Greer Hollow Road over Greer Branch in Lansing.

The two bridges in Watauga County being replaced are located on:
•    Church Road over the Watauga River in Foscoe; and
•    Emory Greer Road over Cove Creek in Zionville: Take Emory Greer Road to West
      Slabtown Road to U.S. 421, or Emory Greer Road to Old U.S. 421 to U.S.  421.

The bridge in Caldwell County being replaced is located on:
•    Anthony Creek Road over Woodruff Branch in Globe.

The design-build method allows the 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.

These bridges are considered to be structurally deficient and/or functionally obsolete, and have reached the end of their life cycle. This does not mean the bridges are unsafe, but there are elements of the bridges that need to be monitored to maintain structural integrity. Many of these bridges have weight limits that do not allow heavier truck traffic to cross and these replacements will remove the postings.  

Since Gov. Bev Perdue took office in January of 2009, NCDOT has awarded 36 design-build contracts totaling $1.8 billion. In addition to expediting construction, design-build projects utilize more private sector contractors, stimulating job creation.

This is one of 24 contracts totaling $117.6 million awarded 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 17.5 percent, or $25 million, below NCDOT estimates.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, every $1 million spent on transportation creates 30 jobs, and according to the construction industry, every dollar invested in transportation generates $6 in economic impact.


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