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Closing the Gap: Blythe Construction wins contract to complete I-485
By Sam Boykin Blythe Construction Inc. will put up $20 million to help fund the start of a long-awaited NCDOT project that will ultimately complete the Charlotte Outer Loop Interstate in northeast Mecklenburg County. The deal, which Gov. Bev Perdue announced during a Charlotte press conference yesterday, is an unusual one. As described in detail in a story in a March 23 story in The Mecklenberg Times, it uses a mechanism called design/build/finance, the first time such a model has been used in North Carolina. “It’s a new tool in our toolbox,” Perdue said yesterday at the Metrolina Traffic Management Center on Tipton Drive. Under the traditional model, the state awards contracts separately for design and construction of a highway, and those steps occur sequentially. Under design/build, one contract is awarded for both functions, which allows teams to design and build simultaneously and finish projects sooner. In this case, Blythe Construction, headquartered in Charlotte, has partnered with Wilbur Smith Associates, a design firm in Raleigh.