|The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) announced today that Phoenix Excavating LLC was awarded a contract for $1,286,039 to install reinforced guardrails on US 33 to help protect traffic on a mountain switchback in Pendleton County. The contract is from a bid letting conducted on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023.|
The project will be paid for with funding from Gov. Jim Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity program.
“This section of road has a historically high crash rate,” said Jason Foster, P.E., WVDOH Chief Engineer of Development. “We’re trying to reduce those crashes by installing a barrier.
The project will build a large retaining wall and install reinforced guardrails along a steep hairpin turn on US 33 as it descends Allegheny Mountain in Pendleton County. The guardrail project is intended to keep vehicles from going off the side of the mountain.
The heavy-duty guardrail system includes guardrails on both the front and back of each individual post, and features two tiers of guardrail. The posts supporting the guardrails will also be sunk deeper into the earth than standard guardrails.
A retaining wall will also be constructed to widen the road to properly sink the guardrail supports.
For a list of construction projects awarded by the WVDOH from the February bid letting, click here.
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 of that evaluation and approval by the Commissioner. Projects are typically awarded to the lowest bidder with all proper documentation in place.