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New highway projects leave Rowan out again

Staff report
RALEIGH ó Gov. Bev Perdue announced Friday that contracts have been awarded for 17 additional highway projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
None were in Rowan County.
Perdue and Transportation Secretary Gene Conti also are working with Sen. Kay Hagan, Rep. Mel Watt and the rest of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation to pursue discretionary grant money included in the ARRA to use for the $300 million replacement of the Yadkin River Bridge on I-85 in Davidson and Rowan counties, according to a press release.
The contracts for the 17 projects total $102.8 million and were awarded by Conti to the lowest bidder, as required by state law.
The projects are in Alamance, Alexander, Anson, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Cherokee, Cleveland, Cumberland, Durham, Gaston, Guilford, Iredell, Johnston, Mecklenburg, Nash, Rockingham, Surry, Union, Wake and Yadkin counties.
Two resurfacing projects, one on U.S. 64 in Nash/Edgecombe counties and one on I-440 in Wake County, 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 received on all 19 economic recovery projects came in nearly 25 percent, about $36.7 million, below NCDOT estimates. Work on all contracts will start in late June or early July.
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.
Based on these figures, the overall projects announced to date are expected to help create and sustain more than 20,000 jobs and generate more than $4 billion in economic development.
Fifteen of the projects entail resurfacing or rehabilitation of major routes across the state. One project will complete grading work for a stretch of the Fayetteville Outer Loop, and one is for a bridge replacement.
NCDOT received a total of $838 million through the ARRA, including $735 million for highway and bridge projects. To date, NCDOT has allocated more than 90 percent of the highway and bridge money received to projects across the state.
Along with awarding these economic recovery projects, Secretary Conti awarded seven contracts for other projects located in Cleveland, Craven, Gaston, Henderson, Jones, Moore, Onslow and Surry counties. Two bridge replacement projects in Henderson and Wake counties 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.
Here is a list of projects in the area:
– Resurfacing and shoulder reconstruction on 3.3 miles of I-85 between U.S. 29/601 and N.C. 73 in Cabarrus County. The $3.4 million contract was awarded to Blythe Development Co. of Charlotte. Work is scheduled to start as early as June 29 and be completed by Oct. 30.
– Resurfacing 18 miles of U.S. 64 from N.C. 90 just west of Statesville in Iredell County to N.C. 90 in Taylorsville in Alexander County. The $2.3 million contract was awarded to Maymead Inc. of Mountain City, Tenn. Work is scheduled to begin as early as June 29, with final completion no later than Oct. 16.
Many of the other projects are in mountain counties, areas south and west of Charlotte, Guilford, Wake and Durham counties and counties in the Sandhills.
For more information about recovery funding for infrastructure improvements in North Carolina, as well as other NCDOT projects and activities, visit www.ncdot.gov.

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