CHARLESTON, WV – On Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Division of Highways announced a contract for $27,460,293.38 to widen a section of WV 2 near Parkersburg.
The project will be paid for with funding from Gov. Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity highway construction and maintenance program.
Mountaineer Contractors Inc. was the lowest of six bidders for the project, which will widen nearly three miles of WV 2 from two to four lanes between Parkersburg and St. Marys. It is among contracts awarded from a bid letting held Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021.
The project is part of an ongoing plan to upgrade WV 2 to four lanes all the way from Parkersburg to Chester in the northern panhandle. Approximately 38 miles of WV 2 have already been widened to four lanes.
WV 2 follows the Ohio River from Huntington to Chester. WVDOH hopes to eventually widen the road to four lanes for its entire length.
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.comand 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 that has all proper documentation in place.