- N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti has awarded a contract to replace seven bridges in five Western North Carolina counties. The $8.1 million design-build project contract was awarded to Apple Tuck and Associates of Rutherfordton. Work can begin as early as April 30 and is scheduled for completion by Nov. 1, 2014. The following bridges will be replaced:Buncombe On Sluder Branch Road in LeicesterBurke On N.C. 126 over the Linville River where it runs into Lake James On Enola Road south of I-40Madison On Woods Ammons Road in the Gabriels Creek Community of Mars HillMcDowell On Dysartsville Road north of I-40Rutherford On Camp Sand Pit Road over the Broad River On Cedar Creek RoadThis 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. Since Gov. Bev Perdue took office in January of 2009, NCDOT has awarded
32 design-build contracts totaling $1.8 billion. In addition to
expediting construction, design-build projects utilize more private
sector contractors, stimulating job creationThis contract is also 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. For more information about funding for infrastructure improvements in North Carolina, as well as other NCDOT projects and activities, visit www.ncdot.gov.