VDOT opens bids for design-build of controversial 29 bypass
VDOT officials today opened bid submittals from companies seeking to win a multi-million dollar state contract to design and build the controversial Western Bypass of U.S. 29 just north of Charlottesville. The bids are to be posted here on VDOT’s website.
The companies had previously submitted conceptual designs in which they show how they would meet the agency’s criteria as described in VDOT’s request-for-proposals issued earlier this year. However, those designs will not be available to the public until sometime in June, when the contract will likely be awarded.
The bid prices opened today do not include costs for landscaping or for remaining right-of-way acquisition, the latter being a significant part of the project’s total cost, which VDOT has estimated at almost $250 million. Additionally, potential change orders could drive costs higher.
The following is a statement from Trip Pollard, director of SELC’s Land & Community Program
“Like the rest of Virginia taxpayers, I have no idea at this point whether these are reasonable bids or not because we haven’t been shown what we’re buying. It’s like getting a bill for a car that’s draped in a giant tarp – you can see the general outline, you know it’s a car, but you don’t know what features it has so you have no way to judge if the price is right.
“One thing we do know is that there are still better, less expensive ways to keep traffic moving throughout the 29 corridor that VDOT ought to be advancing instead of this bypass.”