Local News

Bidders hope stimulus projects will create, save jobs

Posted March 20, 2009
Updated March 23, 2009

Orange barrels / highway construction generic

— Contractors have put in bids for the first of 70 road projects that the North Carolina Department of Transportation plans to fund with $466 million from the first round of federal economic stimulus money.

DOT opened up 11 projects for bidding in March. The lowest bids it received totaled about $65 million.

Road construction Jobs expected from stimulus road projects

DOT officials estimate that the first 11 projects will create about 1,900 jobs and generate $390.5 million for the state economy.

"North Carolina people going back to work and building North Carolina projects, we're very happy about it. ... It's important to the survival, I think, of a lot of businesses out there in this industry," said state Transportation Secretary Gene Conti.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that every $1 million spent on transportation creates 30 jobs. Analysis by the construction industry shows that every transportation dollar has a six-fold effect in the economy, according to the FHA.

"It has a pyramid effect of spreading down throughout the entire industry, as far as creating job opportunities," said Ricky Vick, vice president of the Wilson-based contractor S.T. Wooten.

According to the FHA's formula, two projects for which S.T. Wooten was the lowest bidder – a nearly $650,000 bridge replacement in Currituck County and a $6.3 million road extension in Brunswick County – could generate about 200 jobs, spread among S.T. Wooten, subcontractors, suppliers and other companies involved.

Vick said that the new, stimulus-funded projects will also help S.T. Wooten – which is also repaving a stretch of Interstate 795 that it developed cracks within months of opening – maintain jobs. The contractor has laid off about 200 people in the past two years, mainly in the past six months.

"What you're hopefully going to be able to do now is keep people employed that you currently have on staff, (and) hopefully prevent additional layoffs," Vick said.

The first round of stimulus transportation spending is expected to generate 14,000 jobs in total. DOT will award contracts for the remainder of the initial 70 projects by the end of June.

The state will receive another $269 million for transportation projects in a second round of stimulus money, as well as $103 million for transit. All told, North Carolina will receive $838 million in stimulus money for transportation and transit.

"It will help put people back to work and solve some of our transportation problems," Conti said.

Vick said that S.T. Wooten will keep on actively seeking those projects and might be able to bring back some laid-off employees if it gets enough.

"Right now, everything is a welcome project, and no project is too small," Vick said.

16 Comments

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  • pbjbeach Mar 27, 12:17 p.m.

    If this repaving contract for I-795 FROM WILSON TO GOLDSBOO IS REPAVED WITHTHE SAME KIND OF ASPHALT PLANT MIXTURE THAT IT WAS DONE WITH ORIGINALLY IT TO IS JUST GOING TO FAIL FOR THESE ASPHALT MIXTURES ARE BEING SPECEFICIALLY DESIGNED TO FAIL TO START WITH JUST SO THAT A CONTRACTOR CAN GET TO REPAVE A ROADWAY SOONER WITH A SHORTHER TURN AROUND TIME THANK YOU

  • pbjbeach Mar 27, 11:07 a.m.

    THE STATES HIGHWAY CONTRACTORS ARE RUNNING THE NCDOT AN HAVING A BIG HAND IN THE DAILY MANGAMENT OF IT AS WELL THANK YOU

  • pbjbeach Mar 27, 11:04 a.m.

    Mr.Conti

    I am pretty sure that you have supported our current governor with your campaign dontions an that is the utlmate reason behind the fact that you now hold the position that you do hold. But i would like to suggets that you grow a pair an start standing up to the pols an insist on that the personnal particularly the older more experienced personnal that are currently left that you all haven't either forced in to retirement or just plain out fired to let them do the job that they were originally hired to do an the entire state an the road system within this state that is currently in a state of decline can be repaired an we can once again reclaim the name of the GOOD ROAD STATE that we have always been known for . thank you

  • pbjbeach Mar 27, 10:52 a.m.

    Wake up people these highway contractors are in cahoots with the pols to get their way in regards to funding for any highway contracts stimlus money or other wise an the taxpayers of this state are just being screwed over when it come to the quality of the products that the state is being forced to accept an in a lot of cases there is no one what so ever when it inspections of these products resulting in poor quality of workmanship on the part of these contractors wheater it is guardrail,backfilling over a pipeline placement of embankment fill material or undercut or unclassfied excavation to asphalt plant mixtures products or the testing of concrete inspectors are being force to o.k. everything by upper mangament or to be retailated against for not going along to get along thank you

  • roncorey1 Mar 25, 6:27 p.m.

    Well those thousands of Mexicans heading back home can think twice now. Their version of the "American Dream" might be within reach after all!!

  • Stringbean Mar 20, 7:56 p.m.

    noooo............Officially DHS says that the work site enforcement program is under review this is a statement they released to us yesterday. That secretary -- Paul Connell will focus on criminal aliens and employers. And -- rule who cultivate an illegal workforce The american people will not sit for amnesty for illegal aliens.

  • affirmativediversity Mar 20, 7:41 p.m.

    Personally, my answer to this is:

    If you see a CRIMINAL MIGRANT working a CONSTRUCTION or STATE JOB...take a picture...send it to Bev, all her buddies (especially "buy American but don't worry about hiring illegals" DEMOCRAT LARRY KISSELL), various media outlets, President Obama and copy it onto UTUBE.

    Hopefully someone will notice what great use is being made of TAXPAYER MONEY!!!

  • affirmativediversity Mar 20, 7:38 p.m.

    ddaneault:

    Good Advice...except:

    Our new Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napalitano, has issued an order strictly prohibiting ICE from enforcing immigration law. Instead, any ICE employee who is found to have "arrested or detained" an "undocumented employee" will THEMSELVES be CRIMINALLY INVESTIGATED!

    YEAH BUDDY, CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN!!!!!!

  • affirmativediversity Mar 20, 7:33 p.m.

    Transportation Secretary Conti stated, "...building North Carolina problems, we're very happy about it. ..."

    ========

    That's probably the first truthful thing he's ever said!

    Secretary Conti, I wonder if you might tell the TAXPAYERS of North Carolina when, other than spring, do you usually start construction projects?

    AND

    What happened to ALL THE FUNDS ALREADY APPROPRIATED FOR ALL THESE PROJECTS? After all, we (the taxpayer) are not silly! We understand these projects are not NEW or ADDITIONAL...they have ALREADY BEEN APPROPRIATED or FUNDED once...where did that money go???????

  • Stringbean Mar 20, 7:06 p.m.

    "Wooden wants to bring back the illegalls who work cheaper than honest AMERICANS" !
    Timtooltime This is so true.....We need E-Verify, it is an Internet-based system operated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify is currently free to employers and is available in all 50 states. E-Verify provides an automated link to federal databases to help employers determine employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security numbers. PLEASE PUT AMERICANS BACK TO WORK .If you see company's useing illegal aliens make that call To report any suspicious activity or to make a confidential reporting of immigration or customs violations, please call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE (1-866-347-2423). and ReportIllegals.com

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