|CHARLESTON, WV – Projects to replace three bridges are among 25 projects included in a bid letting held by the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2022.
The WVDOH is reviewing the bids and hopes to award the contracts for these projects soon.
Replacement of the Coalwood Bridge in McDowell County will be paid for with funding from Gov. Jim Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity program.
“The Governor’s Roads to Prosperity program has allowed us the adequate funding to address the replacement of these bridges in addition to many similar deficient bridges throughout our state much earlier than originally planned under our prior funding levels, which were significantly limited,” said WVDOH State Bridge Engineer Tracy Brown, P.E.
When Gov. Justice created Roads to Prosperity in 2017, the program specifically set aside funding to address not only major bridge projects like the renovation or rebuilding of 26 sets of bridges on Interstate 70 around Wheeling, but also dozens of smaller bridges around the state which might otherwise have waited years for replacement.
The Coalwood Bridge is only about 25 feet long, but carries about 1,500 vehicles a day on WV 16 across Perry Camp Branch. The bridge is an important span for the coal industry. Closing the bridge would create a 34-mile detour for drivers.
The WVDOH also accepted bids to replace the Caney Branch Bridge in Mingo County. The bridge currently carries a three-ton weight restriction, and would leave local residents stranded if not replaced.
The WVDOH also accepted bids to replace the Burnsville T-Beam Bridge in Braxton County.
The Oct. 17 bid letting included the following projects:
Elk Street, Chapel Road and additional ADA ramp projects. (Braxton County)Burnsville T-Beam Bridge replacement (Braxton County)First Avenue, Nitro traffic signals. (Kanawha and Putnam counties)Buffalo Hills to Franklin paving. (Pendleton County)Coalwood Bridge replacement. (McDowell County)Grant County to Skyline resurfacing. (Mineral County)St. Albans Streetscape. (Kanawha County)Hickman Run Road to Greenwood Road paving. (Tyler County)Dunns to Flat Top Road paving. (Mercer County)Buffalo Creek to Shoals paving. (Wayne County)Wellsburg traffic signals. (Brooke County)Pleasant Street streetscape. (Monongalia County)Mountwood Park ATV trail. (Wood County)Shinnston downtown sidewalks. (Harrison County)Thomas to Pierce paving. (Tucker County)Brushy Fork Road traffic signal. (Upshur County)Lester to Sophia paving. (Raleigh County)Itmann to Mullens paving. (Wyoming County)Patteson Drive Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon. (Monongalia County)Big Wheeling Creek paving. (Marshall County)Caney Branch Bridge replacement. (Mingo County)District 4 guardrail replacements.I-70 mining maintenance. (Ohio County)Green Bottom to Mason County line paving. (Cabell County)District 2 guardrail replacements.
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 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.