(UNDATED) - The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has issued Notice to Proceed for the final construction contract on I-69 Section 4, giving contractors authorization to complete construction on all 27 miles of new interstate highway between Crane and Bloomington.
Two September bids to build I-69 in the undulating terrain between Taylor Ridge Road and Greene County Road 750E exceeded the engineer's estimate. When rebidding the contract in March, INDOT had contractors compete over both construction cost and timeline.
A joint venture of St. Louis, Mo., area contractors Fred Weber Inc. and Kolb Grading submitted the lowest among six bids with a $109.6 million design-build proposal. The proposal will save $45 million in the construction of a challenging three-mile section in southeastern Greene County by having it open to traffic in 2015. The construction contract offers incentives of $30,000 for each day that contractors open the interstate earlier than anticipated.
Federal rules allow all qualified companies to bid on contracts without consideration to their geographical location. Indiana companies have been awarded to five of the seven road and bridge contracts for I-69 Section 4.
The new Interstate 69 between Evansville and Indianapolis is widely regarded as a key component to the future economic vitality of southwestern Indiana, and will connect an entire region with improved access to jobs, education and healthcare.
The 142-mile I-69 corridor was divided into six independent sections with the Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Study, which was approved by the Federal Highway Administration in March 2004.
The first 67 miles that opened for business in November 2012 -- under budget and years ahead of schedule -- now save motorists more than 30 minutes in travel time when compared to other routes between Evansville and Crane.
As part of I-69 Section 4 in Greene and Monroe counties, INDOT is restoring or preserving 4,100 acres of wetlands, streams and forests, many of which are adjacent to Martin State Forest and other managed properties. INDOT is planting or preserving more than one million trees as part of the project's unprecedented environmental commitments. INDOT has also preserved four priority caves that house 34,000 endangered Indiana bats.
For more information about I-69 between Evansville and Indianapolis, please visit www.i69indyevn.org .
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