CHARLOTTE — The North Carolina Department of Transportation said Tuesday that it has awarded a Connecticut company an $83.3 million contract to widen 9.2 miles of Interstate 485 to six lanes between Interstate 77 and Rea Road in south Charlotte.
Lane Construction Corp’s bid was the lowest and roughly $14 million under the estimated cost of the project, NCDOT said, adding that the contract calls for the expansion to be done by December 2014.
I-485, on which an average of more than 121,000 vehicles a day are driven — making it one of the most congested roadways in the state — will be widened from four lanes, NCDOT said, adding that the project includes the addition of an inside lane in each direction.
The project also includes adding a flyover interchange ramp from U.S. Route 521 North onto I-485 West to allow motorists to access the interstate without stopping at a traffic light, NCDOT said. Also, an auxiliary lane will be added to the outside shoulder of westbound I-485, six interstate bridges will be widened and travel lanes will be resurfaced.
According to NCDOT, it’s possible for design work to start Oct. 1, with construction expected to begin in May or June 2013. The design-build method will be used for the project.
NCDOT said lower construction costs have allowed the timeline for the project to be moved up by nearly two years.
The other bidders, and their bid amounts, according to NCDOT: Blythe Construction ($91.6 million) and ABR-BBII ($108.6 million).