CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A massive bridge to be built over the Cheat River near Parsons is among 20 projects included in a bid letting conducted by the West Virginia Division of Highways on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021.
The project will be paid for with funding from Governor Jim Justice’s Roads to Prosperity highway construction and maintenance program.
WVDOH is reviewing the bids and hopes to award contracts for these projects soon.
The project will build a 3,300-foot-long bridge over the Cheat River about one mile east of Parsons. The bridge is part of an ongoing four-lane upgrade of Appalachian Corridor H.
Corridor H is an ongoing four-lane highway project running from Interstate 79 near Weston, across some of West Virginia’s most rugged terrain, to Interstate 81 in Strasburg, Virginia. The corridor is designed to open the area up to economic development.
Much of the road has already been upgraded to four lanes, but the section between Kerens and Davis remains under construction and development. The Cheat River Bridge is an important component in completing that connection.
Construction of the new bridge is expected to be completed in 2025.
The Nov. 9 letting included the following projects:
• WV 2 four-lane upgrade project (Wood County) (Roads to Prosperity)
• Carter to Brooks Street bridge painting (Kanawha County)
• Superior Bridge replacement (McDowell County) (Roads to Prosperity)
• WV 45 widening project (Berkeley County)
• Cheat River Bridge project (Randolph County) (Roads to Prosperity)
• Weston I-79 interchange lighting (Lewis County)
• Kimball Slab Bridge replacement (McDowell County) (Roads to Prosperity)
• J.C. Cruikshank Memorial Bridge replacement (Clay County)
• Adams Avenue ADA ramps (Cabell County)
• Beechlick Run Bridge replacement (Marion County)
• Weirton Park Drive streetscape (Brooke County)
• Capon Bridge rehabilitation (Hampshire County)
• St. Marys sidewalk improvements (Pleasants County)
• South Wheeling to 18th Street concrete repair (Ohio County)
• Gihon Elementary sidewalk repairs (Wood County)
• Holbert Road rock fall correction (Marion County)
• Pot Branch Bridge replacement (Kanawha County)
• Bentley Road Bridge replacement (Boone County)
• US 35 resurfacing, I-64 overpass to WV 34 overpass (Putnam County)
Several factors are considered before awarding a bid, including whether a bid falls above or below the WVDOH Engineer’s Estimate and by what percentage. In cases where a bid is above the Engineer’s Estimate, WVDOH must consider the project need, repercussions of not awarding the project, additional funding sources, and whether or not sufficient reasons exist for the differences in estimates. Most projects are reviewed, analyzed, and awarded within a week of the bid letting, but the process can take longer.
When the Division of Highways has a project that is determined to be best constructed by a contractor, it is processed through the bid letting system. A letting is a scheduled opportunity for contractors to review and bid on several construction projects at one time. Lettings are held either once or twice per month and conducted through the Bid Express System online at www.bidx.com and handled through the Contract Administration Division. Contractors need to subscribe to Bid Express before bids can be accepted on any project.
As the date and time approach the deadline of the letting, contractors are expected to place their bids, with complete documentation as necessary. Shortly after the letting, the respective bids are reviewed. All bids are evaluated thoroughly for competitiveness and deemed acceptable through guidelines as approved by policy, reviewed, and approved by the FHWA. Award of the contracts is made based on the recommendation by our Awards Committee based on the results that evaluation and approval by the Commissioner. Projects are typically awarded to the lowest bidder which has all proper documentation in place.