6 companies interested in doing earth-moving work for U.S. Route 35 project

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Six companies have told the state Division of Highways they are qualified to begin the four-lane construction project of U.S. Route 35 in Putnam and Mason counties.

The agency received Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) from the companies last week. The DOH hopes to have the contract awarded by mid-June with an expected three-year earth-moving project to get started by the end of the year. The DOH has said a separate 14.6 mile paving project would be awarded in 2018.

DOH spokesman Brent Walker said the agency is currently reviewing the RFQs. He said the list would be trimmed to three with bids expected from the contractors May 20. Walker said they have noticed a lot of options from the different companies.

“What we’re seeing with these six companies is a willing to partner, so we’re seeing two companies come together for this. We could see a consultant on one end and a contractor and an engineering firm coming together,” said Walker.

Walker said companies showed much interest, which brings a lot more work to their end. DOT is keeping their options open — whether to go with a two-contract deal or to decide on a longer contract, but first, they will review the companies’ cost and technical proposals before they make their decision.

The project will be a public-private partnership project. The PPP option will allow the DOH to keep even payments through the life of the work. The contractor would have to be able to handle those steady payments even at points when the work may more expensive, like the summer months when more is being done.

The DOH is also giving contractors an option. They can either bid on a 7.9 mile section of the job, a 6.7 mile section or the entire 14.6 miles.

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