North Carolina’s Department of Transportation plans to commit $450 million over the next three years to replace 187 state-funded bridges in 40 counties, and it wants to hire private engineering firms from across the state to help design the projects, the Triangle Business Journal reports
Many of the projects focus on replacing bridges that are less than 20 feet long and can’t qualify for federal funding.
Starting October 3, pre-qualified engineering firms can begin submitting proposals to work on the projects through the N.C. DOT website. A portion of the projects will be designated for bid by smaller design firms, according to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s office. The projects are being advertised on DOT's web site.
"Workers are needed to do design and construction, and dthese projects improve our ability to move people and goods efficiently, expanding our enconomy," the Governor says.
Greer Beaty, spokeswoman for N.C. DOT, says the department has a new goal of outsourcing more of its design work that previously was done inhouse. “Our goal is, if we put this design work out now, we’ll get more competition, we’ll get better pricing and good turnaround,” she says.
Beaty estimates that about $1.5 million of the $450 million budget for the bridges’ projects will be spend on design costs. The funds have already been approved as part of the department’s state highway fund budget, she says.
All interested design firms are encouraged to attend a question and answer session on Oct. 5 at 2809 Beryl Road in Raleigh. In addition to the design work being advertised in October, N.C. DOT plans to initiate improvement, enhancement or replacement of another 1,000 bridges during this same two-year period.
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