date revised from fall 2015 to June 2016
RALEIGH – Maymead
Inc. of Mountain City, Tenn., has replaced Taylor & Murphy of Asheville as
the prime contractor on the U.S. 321 widening project in Blowing Rock. Taylor
& Murphy has been undergoing a company restructuring and could not continue
work on the project.
was selected by the bonding company, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of
America, to complete the project. Maymead was one of the original bidders on
the project in 2011 and was already the largest subcontractor on it. A new
subcontractor, Vecellio & Grogan Inc. of Beckley, W.Va., has been hired to
support rock blasting and grading work.
Department of Transportation requires a contractor to provide bonds on all
projects more than $500,000 to address situations when a contractor has
difficulty completing a project. The bonding company arranges for a replacement
contractor, approved by NCDOT, to complete the project. NCDOT does not pay
additional money related to this replacement.
bonding company has worked with Taylor & Murphy and Maymead to
ensure all safety and erosion control issues are addressed during the
The transition from Taylor & Murphy to Maymead, as well
as poor weather this winter, have slowed work on the project. Additionally, NCDOT
and the town of Blowing Rock worked together to change the wall pattern on 36
of the 40 walls being built along the project to better fit the character of
the village. Because of these changes, the scheduled completion date has been
revised from the fall of 2015 to June 30, 2016.
has not been closed for blasting since December and, weather permitting, crews
made temporary road repairs, cleared right of way and filled deep valleys in
the southern part of the project toward Lenoir. Once blasting resumes, motorists
should expect the road to be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to
3 p.m., and traffic detoured around the blasting area.
The nearly four-mile
project has unique challenges. The project traverses an historic district and rocky
terrain, and work is dependent on the ever-changing mountain weather. The
project will improve mobility through the corridor and improve access to
businesses both downtown and along U.S. 321.
the first year of the project, crews hauled nearly 76,000 cubic yards of
granite off site or to use as fill. That equals about 57,456 tons, or about the
weight of 57 Volkswagen Beetles.
There will continue
to be regular project updates throughout the project. These updates will be
provided via the NCDOT project website,
traditional media and social media. Daily information is provided via Twitter
(#US321), or call the project hotline at (828) 964-3260 to
speak to an NCDOT representative during regular weekday business hours (8 a.m.
until 5 p.m.).