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Cost for second phase of I-85 project cut in half

Standing at the construction site for the new Yadkin River bridges, Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that the second phase of the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project will cost half what the state thought it would.
The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a $65.5 million contract for Wednesday after originally estimating the construction would cost $120 million-$130 million.
The second phase of the project will widen 3.8 miles of Interstate 85 to eight lanes and update the Belmont Road interchange, which will make travel and commerce more efficient while creating new jobs for North Carolinians.
This is the first project funded by Perdue’s N.C. Mobility Fund, and the remaining money set aside for the I-85 project will be used for future Mobility Fund projects across the state.
“Without the Mobility Fund, we would not have the money needed to pay for this critically important project,” Perdue said. “Phase two will make this heavily used stretch of I-85 last longer while helping people and goods more easily reach their destinations.”
The Department of Transportation awarded the contract for phase two to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc./Austin Bridge and Road LP, a joint venture in Irving, Texas.
The joint-venture team estimates the project will create or sustain about 150 jobs. Many of those workers will be hired locally.
The contractor is scheduled to complete the project by May 2013, five months earlier than the state required.
Phase one is set to wrap up in January 2013, which means all construction along I-85 in Davidson and Rowan counties will be finished by spring 2013.

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