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Largest VDOT Contract Under Budget

A bid for the largest Virginia Department of Transportation contract in its history was opened last Wednesday and it came in 7.8 percent under budget. It also covers the largest single project ever awarded by VDOT.

Both of these first time events pertain to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project's Route 1 Interchange element. "But the Commonwealth Transportation Board must act before its official," said John Undeland, director, Public Affairs, Potomac Crossing Consultants.

"The notice to proceed is scheduled for the end of December. But the work won't start until early 2004, provided the Board approves," Undeland said. The work on the interchange is scheduled to be completed by the middle of 2009.

THERE WERE THREE bidders on the project. The low bid came from Tidewater Skanska, Inc. of Virginia Beach, according to Undeland. Their bid came in at $146.6 million. The two other bids were $156.3 million and $173.8 million. Estimated cost was forecast at $159 million.

"They [Skanska] were the lead company to build the foundation of the new bridge. That was finished on budget and on time," Udeland reported.

The Route 1 Interchange portion of the overall project encompasses the following elements:

*The Route 1 bridge over the Capital Beltway

*Widening the Beltway from Route 1 to Telegraph Road

*Reworking parts of Route 1 including new ramps to and from the beltway

*Providing a left turn lane off Route 1 onto Fort Hunt Road for traffic traveling South on Route 1

"The last element will eliminate the jug handle turn for traffic coming south that is not coming from the West on the Beltway," Undeland explained. "Those exiting the Beltway from the West onto Route 1 will still utilize the jug handle turn to enter Fort Hunt Road."

IN ANOTHER Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project happening last week, a 182-foot-long boom from one of the construction cranes snapped during high winds last Friday and landed on one of the recently constructed V piers for the new span. There was only minor damage to the pier and no injuries, according to bridge authorities.

"An investigation is underway as to why it happened. Those activities are ongoing," Undeland clarified. There will be a report issued once the investigation is complete.