State delays quest for freeway contracts for third time |

State delays quest for freeway contracts for third time

Kelli Du Fresne

Workers seeking a place on a crew for the Nevada Department of Transportation’s Carson City freeway project must wait.

Crews won’t begin to assemble until about February.

NDOT spokesman Scott Magruder said the bridge phase of the freeway project, which was to be bid Thursday, won’t be bid until Dec. 23.

The state first planned to seek offers Nov. 4 from contractors for constructing the four bridges along the northern leg of the freeway.

However, the date was pushed back until Dec. 9 when the College Parkway interchange was redesigned.

The Dec. 9 date was delayed again until Thursday to allow for an extension of the comment period by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which ends today.

“We did not want to advertise during the comment period,” Magruder said. “This should not affect the project schedule. We still plan to begin construction in spring 2000.”

Despite plans to begin next year, a glitch could surface in comments being collected by the corps of engineers, which is charged with protection of the waterways and wetlands along the route.

“There’s always that chance,” Magruder said.

The freeway was delayed a year after comments surfaced during an earlier comment period that pointed out the existence of the wandering skipper habitat near North Lompa Lane.

Subsequent research has found other locations of skipper habitat and no skippers in Carson City. The state has developed a plan to help protect the other areas of habitat.

The advertisement seeking a contractor to build bridges at College Parkway, Northgate Lane, Emerson Drive and Arrowhead Drive should be in newspapers Dec. 23.

Magruder said NDOT will advertise the $17 million project for four to six weeks, review bids for another two weeks and then choose a contractor. The contractor will then have about a month to gather materials, equipment and crew and begin work.

“If the contract is awarded in February, we could begin construction in March,” Magruder said. “When the project is awarded there should be a two- to three-year commitment of non-stop construction on one of the biggest projects in the state.”

In addition to the four bridges in the first phase of the freeway, Arrowhead Drive will also be realigned and the state will begin drainage work.