March 14, 2011

UPDATE: NCDOT gives companies an extra
30 days to submit Bonner Bridge proposals

The N.C. Department of Transportation is taking advantage of a critical opportunity to save money on the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge Replacement Project in Dare County, which is estimated to cost $300 million.

NCDOT is giving the design-build teams competing for the contract an additional 30 days to submit their bids. The extra time will allow the teams to create proposals that will save more taxpayer money and complete the project sooner.

“In this economic climate, saving precious taxpayer dollars is increasingly critical,” said NCDOT Chief Operating Officer Jim Trogdon. “This additional time will give us better proposals and a better overall project for the people who rely on the Bonner Bridge daily.”

The department’s original deadline for the teams to submit their bids, as well as their technical proposals, was June 2. Both are now due on July 1. NCDOT plans to award the contract by mid-July.

The idea to extend the deadline came from the shortlisted teams bidding on the project. They informed NCDOT that they wanted more time to amend and enhance their proposals to make them more attractive to the state.

The three teams competing for the contract include:

•       Oregon Inlet Contractors LLC, JV and Figg Bridge Engineering Inc.
•       PCL Civil Constructors Inc. and HDR Engineering Inc. of the Carolinas
•       Skanska USA Civil Southeast Inc. and Parsons Transportation Group.

The new Bonner Bridge will be built parallel to the existing bridge.

Information generated by a coastal monitoring program will determine what types of improvements are needed on the remaining stretch of Highway 12 through the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and when that work would occur.

DOT was required to wait at least six months after the Dec. 20 Record of Decision on the replacement of the bridge to ask for bids on designing and building the bridge.

Construction will not begin until permits have been obtained from all of the federal and state agencies involved. DOT hopes that construction will start in early 2012 and says that the project will take about 3 1/2 years to complete.

With that timeline, the earliest a new bridge could be completed would be 2015, which is 22 years past the intended useful life of the current bridge, which was completed in 1963.

All state and federal agencies have now signed off on the replacement plan, and federal agencies began meeting in January to begin negotiating permits.

Meetings have involved the state Department of Transportation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said Victor Barbour, DOT’s technical services administrator.

Currently, he said, the two agencies are working on conditions for a USFWS permit to retain the terminal groin on the northern end of Hatteras Island. 

Also underway, he added, is work on transferring land from Fish and Wildlife and the National Park Service to NCDOT for the property where the replacement bridge will land on Hatteras Island.

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