|CHARLESTON, WV – A new roundabout intersection on two busy roads in Martinsburg is among 23 highways projects awarded by Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Division of Transportation on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.|
The project was part of a bid letting held on Aug. 10.
First Fruits Excavating was awarded a $1,727,360.75 contract to build a roundabout at the intersection of Rock Cliff Drive and Tavern Road in Martinsburg. The project is expected to be complete in the fall of 2022.
District 5 Traffic Engineer Ken Clohan, P.E., said the intersection is currently served by a four-way stop.
But the intersection has become congested. Traffic is especially heavy on Tavern Road, where drivers are often on their way to Berkeley Medical Center or nearby Interstate 81.
A 2016 design study suggested a roundabout was the best way to address congestion at the intersection. Although a traffic light might work at the intersection temporarily, “The design study required looking 20 years ahead,” Clohan said.
Other projects in District 4 and District 5 awarded on Aug. 23 were:
- SQP Construction Group was low bidder on an ADA ramp project in Shepherdstown in Jefferson County. Low bid was $335,875.
- Specialty Groups, Inc. was low bidder on a lighting upgrade project on US 50 in Harrison County. Low bid was $6,449,700.
- West Virginia Signal & Light, Inc. was low bidder on a traffic signal renovation project on Mill Street in Marion County. Low bid was $133,891.
- Clearwater Construction, Inc. was low bidder on a pier and deck joint replacement project in Monongalia County. Low bid was $2,057,587.58
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 or not 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 approaches for 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 recommendation by our Awards Committee based on the results that evaluation and approval by the Commissioner. Projects are typically awarded to the lowest bidder which has all proper documentation in place.