A massive project to clean and paint nine interstate bridges and six interstate ramps through downtown Charleston is among six projects included in a bid letting conducted by the West Virginia Division of Highways on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.
Another project to replace an aging bridge in Boone County is also included in the bid letting. The replacement project will be paid for with funding from Gov. Jim Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity highway construction and maintenance program.
WVDOH is reviewing the bids and hopes to award contracts for these projects soon.
The cleaning and painting project involves nine bridges and six interstate ramps that carry Interstate 64 and Interstate 77 through downtown Charleston. The bridges include the I-64 and I-77 interchange and spans that carry the interstate over Bigley Avenue and Piedmont Road. Ramps to be painted under the contract include Brooks Street and Leon Sullivan Way.
All the bridges and ramps are east and south of the Carter Bridge. The bridges and ramps will be painted blue to match the other bridges in the area. The project will be paid for with 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funding.
Another project will replace the Pond Fork Bridge near Wharton in Boone County. The bridge was built in 1948 and carries Grapevine Road across Pond Fork. The bridge has been under weight restrictions since 2014 and is subject to yearly inspections.
The existing steel truss bridge will be replaced on site using portions of the existing abutments.
The Feb. 8 letting included the following projects:
-Cleaning and painting overpass bridges on I-64 near Milton (Cabell County)
-Cleaning and painting the Gormania Bridge (Grant County)
-Construction of pedestrian-suitable curb ramps in Princeton (Mercer County)
-Pond Fork Bridge replacement (Boone County) (Roads to Prosperity)
-Sign replacements (Doddridge, Harrison, Preston, and Taylor counties)
-Cleaning and painting bridges and ramps east and south of the Carter Bridge (Kanawha 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 or not 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 that evaluation and approval by the Commissioner. Projects are typically awarded to the lowest bidder with all proper documentation in place.