RALEIGH - N.C. Department of
Transportation Secretary Gene Conti has awarded a contract to replace the U.S.
221 bridge over Prathers Creek near Scottville.
The $889,176 contract was awarded
to Smith Rowe LLC of Mount Airy. Work can begin as early as May 29 and be
completed by Dec. 12, 2013.
During construction, traffic will
be maintained on the current bridge while the new bridge is being built adjacent
to the old bridge. Once the new bridge is completed, traffic will move onto the
new structure while the existing bridge is removed and the surrounding area returned
to its original contours.
The bridge was built in 1923 and is
deemed both functionally obsolete and structurally deficient. This does not
mean the bridge is unsafe, but there are elements of the bridge that need to be
monitored to maintain its structural integrity, and its layout no longer meets
current design standards for width, shoulders or rails.
The new bridge will be able to
accommodate larger vehicles than the current bridge. By replacing it, NCDOT
will improve motorist safety, make travel more efficient and help the local
transportation network last longer.
This is one of 26 contracts
totaling $126.3 million awarded by Conti in April 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 16.4
percent, or $24.8 million, below NCDOT estimates.
Gov. Bev Perdue's proposed budget
continues to support enhancing or expanding our transportation infrastructure.
In doing so, Gov. Perdue continues to support immediate jobs in the
construction sector and the goal of ensuring that our transportation network
facilitates access to jobs, education and healthcare for the future.
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.