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Highway, bridge project funding includes $5.7 million contract for widening of Village Drive in Leland

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Fifteen contracts totaling $29.3 million have been awarded for highway and bridge projects across North Carolina, including seven projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

One of the eight non-ARRA funded contracts awarded includes:

A $5.7 million contract to S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson to convert 1 mile of Village Drive (NC 1472) in Leland from west of Old Fayetteville Road (NC 1437)/Navassa Road (NC 1435) to the U.S. 17 North interchange ramps in Brunswick County to a four-lane divided roadway.

Work is scheduled to begin as early as Aug. 31, with final completion by June 1, 2011.

The project will widen the three-lane sections of Village Drive to four lanes with a divided median, and taking out the center turn lane on current five-lane sections and replacing it with a median. Signal work, lane realignment and other intersection improvements will also be included in the project.

The section of road will be open to traffic with periodic lane closures in place.

The contracts were awarded by Transportation Secretary Gene Conti to the lowest respective bidder, as required by state law.

“These projects will stimulate economic growth by creating and maintaining jobs as we enhance safety and keep our people traveling,” Gov. Bev Perdue said.

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.

The seven recovery projects awarded are located in Anson, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Dare, Forsyth and Hyde counties. The eight other projects awarded are in Brunswick, Cherokee, Cumberland, Iredell, McDowell, Pitt, Rowan and Rutherford counties. Work on the projects will start in late August, September and October.

Five additional projects were let to contract in July. Four of them will be awarded if the low bidder demonstrates that it has met “good faith effort” requirements in attempting to reach the disadvantaged business enterprise goals set forth in the contracts. The bids on the fifth project to conduct resurfacing work in Haywood and Jackson counties exceeded the NCDOT engineer’s estimate by more than 21 percent. The bids were rejected, and the project will be rebid at a later date.

The bids received on all 20 projects advertised came in more than 15 percent, about $6.5 million, below NCDOT estimates.

For more information about funding for infrastructure improvements in North Carolina, as well as other NCDOT projects and activities, visit www.ncdot.gov.