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Turnpike Authority approves toll road bids

Posted August 20, 2008 6:43 p.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2008 8:43 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Turnpike Authority's Board of Governors on Wednesday approved bids for construction of the remainder of the Triangle Expressway.

S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson bid more than $137.4 million on the Triangle Parkway, a 3.4-mile toll highway between N.C. 147, which is the Durham Freeway, and N.C. Highway 540 in Morrisville.

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

Wednesday's vote means the contractors have a notice of bid. Construction can't begin until bonds are issued, which could happen in mid-October.

If so, the Triangle Parkway could open by December 2010, the Western Wake Freeway by 2011.

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.