The apparent low bid for the first phase of the Carson City freeway was nearly $1.8 million under the Nevada Department of Transportation's estimate.
Frehner Construction Co. of Las Vegas was the apparent low bidder Thursday with a bid of $14,007,777, a total about $74,000 under the second lowest bid.
NDOT Spokesman Scott Magruder said the department was pleased, although too-low bids could have caused some concern about the quality of the project.
"If there was only one bid around $14 million, we'd be worried," Magruder said. "With three in the $14 million range, we feel it was pretty competitive."
Construction on Phase IA of the freeway is scheduled to start in late March or early April, Magruder said.
The first phase includes the construction of bridges over College Parkway, Emerson Drive, Northgate Lane and Arrowhead Drive.
Don Read, a project manager for Frehner Construction, said the company's bid was "solid."
"We're ecstatic," Read said. "Over the last three or four years we've tried to expand into Northern Nevada. This is an opportunity for us to show the quality of our work and the integrity of our company to this area. We can build it for that much."
Frehner has done other projects for NDOT, including a wetlands mitigation project in Washoe Valley, safety improvements near Bowers Mansion, work on Reno's McCarran Boulevard and other city of Reno and Washoe County street projects, Read said.
Bids for the $80 million Phase 1B of the freeway's northern leg should be posted in February 2001. Construction is slated on the northern leg, which extends from Lakeview Hill to Highway 50, from 2000 to 2003.
The second freeway leg from Highway 50 east to the Spooner Summit Junction has a $160 million price tag, and as of yet no funding. Construction is expected to begin on the southern leg in 2004 and to finish in 2007.
Freeway bid line-up:
State engineer's estimate $15,769,577
Frehner Construction $14,007,777
Q&D Construction $14,081,403
Benco Contracting and Engineering $14,895,572
MCM Construction $15,136,063
Morrison Knudsen Corp. $15,249,480
C.C. Myers $15,413,659
Las Vegas Paving Corp. $15,488,335
Granite Construction $15,769,577
Gilbert Western Corp. $15,962,220
Contri Construction $16,279,452
Shasta Bridges $16,967,624
The Nevada Department of Transportation has set up an information hotline and Web site for Carson City freeway information. The 24-hour hotline number is (775) 828-4797. Head to the web at www.ccfreeway.com.