Bids for second phase of freeway come in under budget | NevadaAppeal.com
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Bids for second phase of freeway come in under budget

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Trevor Clark/Nevada Appeal The bridge that ends Highway 395 above Highway 50 on Thursday.
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After a seven-month delay, the Nevada Department of Transportation opened bids Thursday afternoon for the second phase of the Highway 395 freeway.

All three of the bids for the contract to construct the bypass from Highway 50 to Fairview Drive came in below the estimate provided by the state’s engineer, with Road and Highway Builders, LLC, of Reno, being the apparent low bid.

The company bid $44.9 million, more than $7 million less than the $52.3 million estimated for the project.

Q&D Construction Inc., of Reno, bid $46.1 million and Granite Construction Co., of Sparks, bid $50.6 million for the project.

“This is good news for the state,” said Scott Magruder, NDOT spokesman. “The contractors are being very aggressive in seeking these bids, finding ways to save the state money and be awarded these projects.”

NDOT now has up to 30 days to review the bids, check for calculation errors and verify information, after which time the winning bidder will receive a notice to begin working. The bid specifies that the work is to be completed in 350 working days, or about two years.

“We plan on about 220 working days a year, so we expect completion by the end of 2009,” Magruder said.

The bids were originally slated to be opened Feb. 8, but the process was delayed because the transportation department had to wait for utility companies to finish moving power, gas, phone and other services to make way for the freeway. All those services had to be relocated underground, plus city water and sewer lines have to be moved before work on the road could commence.

The intersection of Fifth Street and Butti Way will be closed from 6 a.m.-midnight on Saturday while crews work to install a new sewer line for the bypass.

In preparation for this phase, the transportation department supervised construction of major flood control work in the former Lompa Ranch area just north of the Nevada State Prison. That work was to ensure drainage of water from the lowest part of the valley away from the freeway and back to the Carson River.

The city is responsible for widening Fairview Drive to four lanes, which will carry traffic from the freeway west to Carson Street until the final phase of the bypass is completed, tying it to Highway 395 south at the base of Spooner Summit.

Transportation officials plan to put the final phase of the freeway out to bid in the next year and have the full route completed by 2011.

The estimated cost of the final phase is $120 million, primarily because of the interchange at Highway 395 and Highway 50 that has yet to be awarded.

The first section of the freeway from Arrowhead Drive to Highway 50 East opened Feb. 16, 2006.

By the numbers

Bids received for Phase 2A of the Highway 395 Bypass, from Highway 50 East to Fairview Drive:

State engineers estimated cost: $52.36 million

Road and Highway Builders Inc., of Reno: $44.95 million

Q&D Construction Inc., of Reno: $46.06 million

Granite Construction Co., of Sparks: $50.6 million

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.