Bids opened for final leg of Veterans Memorial Parkway
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Sep 27, 2013 | 3962 views |  0 comments | 73 73 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The entrance to the unfinished Eastern Bypass at McClellan. Photo by Stephen Gross.
The entrance to the unfinished Eastern Bypass at McClellan. Photo by Stephen Gross.
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State transportation officials opened bids today on a project that will complete the last 3.7 miles of Veterans Memorial Parkway and finally connect Interstate 20 to Alabama 21 and U.S. 431 north of downtown Anniston.

The low bidder was Gadsden-based McCartney Construction, with an estimated cost of $12.2 million. That’s about $400,000 less than the Alabama Department of Transportation had predicted the project would cost.

APAC Mid-South of Birmingham submitted the second-lowest bid at $13 million. W.S. Newell & Sons of Montgomery priced the project at $14.1 million. Only the three bids were submitted.

ALDOT spokeswoman Rebecca White said ALDOT will now review the lowest bid to ensure the project “can be accomplished with what that contractor is saying he can do.”

Once that review process ends, the bid will go to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley for approval. That process should be completed by the end of November, White said.

The groundbreaking ceremony has yet to be set, White said, but she estimates the project will finish in late spring or early summer of 2015.

Plans call for work to begin on the northern end of the project at Lindale Drive and Sprague Avenue. After the project is awarded, pre-construction meetings will be held to discuss ways to keep traffic disruption on U.S. 431 and Alabama 21 to a minimum, White explained.

Attempts to reach McCartney Construction, APAC Mid-South and W.S. Newell & Sons Friday were unsuccessful, but White said all three companies have previously worked on earlier phases the parkway project.

APAC Mid-South in 2009 was awarded a $9.4 million contract to pave a 3-mile section of the parkway. In 2011 the company announced that portion of the project would cost an additional $2.1 because of unusually rough terrain.

Many local officials consider the parkway crucial to the area’s future economic development.

“From a McClellan perspective we’re very excited about it,” said Robin Scott, director of the McClellan Development Authority.

The parkway will have an exit directly onto Summerall Gate Road, a main thoroughfare into McClellan. Completing the project will open opportunities for more retail and residential development in McClellan, Scott said.

The parkway’s estimated completion coincides closely with expected finish dates for two road projects inside the former U.S. Army base.

“Completing Iron Mountain Road and Pappy Dunn Boulevard just improves the infrastructure in our industrial park making those properties much more marketable,” Scott said.

The parkway was first approved by Congress in 1998 and work began in 2001. Lack of funding stalled the project after the first section from I-20 to Greenbrier Dear Road opened in 2003. A $47 million boost in federal money from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 restarted the project.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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