WVDOH accepts bids for I-79 bridge replacements

CHARLESTON, WV – A project to replace three pairs of bridges on Interstate 79 is among 11 projects included in a bid letting conducted by the West Virginia Division of Highways on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.

The project will replace the Narrow Bridges near Exit 136, the Little Creek Bridges near mile marker 140, and the Wades Run Bridges at mile marker 160 at the West Virginia state line. The bridges were built between 1966 and 1968.

The bridge replacement project is in conjunction with another construction project to renovate 13 other bridges along a 40-mile stretch of I-79 between Lost Creek and Interstate 68 near Morgantown.

In December, Gov. Jim Justice approved the award of a $62.455 million project to Triton Construction Inc. to renovate the spans. The two contracts will replace or renovate all the major bridges along I-79 in north central and northern West Virginia.

Also on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, the WVDOH accepted bids to replace the Northfork Arch Bridge in McDowell County. The existing bridge was built in 1921 and carries about 750 vehicles a day across Elkhorn Creek.

Replacement of the structure will be paid for with funding from Gov. Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity program.

The Jan. 10 bid letting included the following projects:

  • Interstate 79 bridge replacements. (Marion, Monongalia counties)
  • Dr. Eshenaur Memorial Bridge cleaning and painting project. (Mason County)
  • Pocatalico River Road Truss Bridge replacement. (Roane County)
  • Interstate 64 Exit 181 cantilever sign replacement. (Greenbrier County)
  • Pleasant Street Streetscape project, Morgantown. (Monongalia County)
  • Shorty Ford Road to Tyler County line paving. (Doddridge County)
  • Huntington to Wayne County line paving. (Cabell County)
  • Northfork Arch Bridge replacement. (McDowell County) (Roads to Prosperity)
  • Itmann to Mullens paving. (Wyoming County)
  • Howell Hollow Bridge utility installation. (Randolph County)
  • Bridge of Honor (Pomeroy-Mason Bridge) renovation. (Mason 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 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 of that evaluation and approval by the Commissioner. Projects are typically awarded to the lowest bidder with all proper documentation in place.

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