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Toll road construction bids $62 million less than expected

Posted August 5, 2008
Updated August 20, 2008

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— The North Carolina Turnpike Authority opened bids Tuesday for the construction of the future three-part Triangle Expressway, which will be the state's first modern toll road.

The bids total nearly $584 million – about $62 million less than what the Turnpike Authority expected.

S.T. Wooten Corporation of Wilson bid more than $137.4 million on the Triangle Parkway, a 3.4-mile toll highway between the N.C. 147, Durham Freeway, and N.C. Highway 540 in Morrisville. It could open by December 2010.

The Raleigh/Durham Road Builders, a joint venture of Archer Western Contractors and Granite Construction with the LPA Group as Lead Designer, bid more than $446.4 million for the Western Wake Freeway, a 12.6-mile stretch slated to open in 2011. It will be an extension of the new N.C. 540, from N.C. 55 near Research Triangle Park to N.C. 55 between Holly Springs and Apex.

The Turnpike Authority's Board of Directors is expected to hear bid presentations next week and vote on the bids Aug. 20.

The General Assembly, last month, approved gap funding of $25 million a year for the Triangle Expressway. Gap funding will be used to leverage bonds for the estimated $1 billion project.

Besides covering construction costs, those funds will be used for operations, land and other costs. Revenue generated by tolls will be used to pay off those bonds which will take about 40 years. Once the bonds are paid, state law requires the tolls to be removed.

The first of the three sections of the Triangle Expressway, the Northern Wake Expressway, opened in July 2007 and stretches 2.8 miles from N.C. 54 in Morrisville to N.C. 55 near Research Triangle Park.

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  • killerkestrel Aug 7, 2008

    Easley didn't cause construction costs to double over the last 5 years.

    And the bid being low won't matter when DOT has to pay for the increased cost of asphalt binder. It has doubled since April 08, making it cost about 50% more to pave a road, just in 4 months!

  • 68_polara Aug 6, 2008

    Got to feel a little sorry for those that moved down here to get away from places like Jersey.

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Aug 6, 2008

    TERM LIMITS IS THE ONLY SOLUTION TO RALEIGH...They are having way too much fun at our expense. "the honorable" has lost its meaning.

  • Bendal1 Aug 6, 2008

    rand321,

    Highway projects are broken up into separate projects because the bigger the project, the fewer contractors that can bid on it and the higher the overall bids will be. Typical new construction grading/structure projects are around 6 miles in length; that's enough room to allow multiple work teams that can stay out of each other's way and still work on the whole site at one time. Plus, the longer it takes to build a project, the higher the costs will be due to inflation as the years go on. Contractors build that into their bids so the prices go up.

  • ThisIsMyName Aug 5, 2008

    I don't mind those folks in west Cary and Apex have to squeeze onto hwy 55. They are the ones that chose to move there.

  • bs101fly Aug 5, 2008

    got my easy pass, gonna pass RIGHT on by that stretch of road.
    they can have AT IT!

  • patriotsrevenge Aug 5, 2008

    hooptie, just the opposite...I don't have mine. I just paid for eveyone elses, and they want me to pay double for mine...maybe you should read my posts again.

  • pbjbeach Aug 5, 2008

    IF THE POL'S WOULD KEEP THEIR HANDS OFF OF THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND MONIES AN USED THE FOR WHAT THEY WERE INTENDED TO BE USED FOR AN NOT TO PAY FOR EVERYTHING ELSE THAT COME DOWN THE PIKE ( ie to balance the states budget) THERE WOULD BE PLENTY OF FUNDING FOR NCDOT ROADS TO BE BUILT WITH IT IS JUST LIKE PERIGO IT IS IN THERE WHEN THE POLS NEED FUNDING FOOR THEIR PET PROJECTS THEY JUST GO AN PULL OPEN ANOTHER DRAWER AN THER IT IS ALL THE MONEY THAT THEY NEED

  • hp277 Aug 5, 2008

    This would only make sense a sa toll road if it connected to I-40 over at Clayton or Garner. As it is, it's just a local road to serve Apex and Cary. That's why it will take 40 years to remove the toll - no one is going to use it.

    In the meantime, I'm planning to have my George Jetson flying car before that toll comes off.

  • cjo32 Aug 5, 2008

    It's only because the Democrats in this state are so CORRUPT that you need toll roads.They steal your money and give it to others and you fools keep re-electing them.

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