Gov. Beverly Perdue announced Thursday that Charlotte-based Blythe Construction was awarded the contract for work on Interstate 485's outer loop.
Perdue traveled to Charlotte to make the announcement.
"This saves time; it saves taxpayer money; it creates jobs," Perdue said. "It solves a tremendous transportation issue for you."
VIDEO: Perdue Unveils Contract Award For I-485 Loop
N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti was at the announcement to sign the contract award letter. Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and other state and local officials also attended.
"There's no question that this will have a significant economic impact in terms of our ability to attract companies and talented people to our area," Foxx said.
Perdue said last fall she wanted to use a new method to pay for the final five-mile stretch of the road. She said the project would ask a private contractor to put up $25 million to help pay for the $185 million segment. The DOT said the state would pay the entire bid amount in installments over 10 years.
The NCDOT opened bids for the project on May 21. Four design-build teams gave bids that were considerably lower than the expected $185 million project cost.
• Blythe Construction adjusted bid: $139,457,129
• Tarboro-based Barnhill/English's adjusted bid: $149,586,543
• Charlotte-based Lane Construction Corp.'s adjusted bid: $139,883,079
• Peachtree City, Ga.-based Kiewit Southern Co.'s adjusted bid: $162,275,980
Because the bids were lower than the initial expected cost of the project, additional bank financing won't be needed.
Blythe Construction will build an eight-lane freeway from NC 115 to I-85 in northeast Charlotte. The interchange at NC 115 will be completed to accommodate traffic, and two new interchanges connecting I-485 to Prosperity Church Road and Mallard Creek Road will be constructed.
Bill Capehart, the CEO of Blythe Construction, said he knows there will be pressure to keep the project on schedule, and promised his company is up to the challenge.
"We know what we've got to do in the time frame," he said. "We'll schedule our resources accordingly and finish it on time."
This is the first of three related projects to complete the loop, expand the interchange between I-485 and I-85 and widen I-85 into Cabarrus County. The process to award the contracts for the other two projects is expected to continue this summer.
Previous Stories: January 13, 2010: State Lawyers: I-485 Extended Financing Lawful December 9, 2009: Perdue Stands By I-485 Plan December 2, 2009: Legal Questions Over I-485 Funding Concern Mecklenburg Leader December 1, 2009: Potential Problems Surface With Perdue's I-485 Plan November 25, 2009: I-485 Funding Plan Raises Concerns For High Ranking State Official November 9, 2009: Gov. Announces Unusual Plan To Finish I-485 Sooner November 6, 2009: Contractor, NCDOT Battle Over I-485 Delay Fines August 29, 2009: McCrory: I-485 Is Back To Square One August 20, 2009: Charlotte-Area Transportation Officials Continue Fight With NC Governor July 17, 2009: Local Leaders Fire Back At Perdue's Lack Of I-485 Plans July 15, 2009: DOT Leader Calls For Bonds To Finish I-485 July 9, 2009: Initial 485 Planning Was Inaccurate, But Predictions Improved