The following is an excerpt from an article in ConstructionEquipmentGuide.com, written by Cindy Riley – CEG Correspondent on September 1, 2022.
Crews with the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) continue making progress as they reconstruct and widen Interstate 85 in Cherokee and Spartanburg counties. The $850 million mega project was designed to ease interstate congestion and replace aging infrastructure.
“We need to increase the level of service to both the traveling public and the freight industry, as well as improve safety by implementing current federal and state specifications to mainline and interchanges throughout the corridor,” said SCDOT spokesperson Pete Poore.
The contract, awarded to BZJV (Blythe-Zachry JV, a joint venture of Blythe Construction Inc. and Zachry Construction Corporation), is one of the biggest projects SCDOT has undertaken to date. Poore noted that the newly constructed modern interchanges, along with additional mainline interstate travel, will reduce congestion in the region that will ultimately lower the costs of moving people and goods through the corridor.
“The results, as history has proven, will improve connectivity and productivity and have significant short and long-term positive impacts on the economy. In addition, SCDOT has seen an increase in encroachment permit applications for potential future commercial and industrial development.”
The design-build contract method reportedly gives SCDOT the best value for the completed project.
“It allows for a faster preconstruction to construction delivery and, therefore, yields a faster overall completion date. It also provides greater flexibility if needed changes in the project arise,” said Poore, who added that the two contractors are a good fit for the DOT effort.
“Using the design-build method, contractors are selected based on qualifications, innovation, time bid and cost bid. The contractors selected needed to demonstrate knowledge and experience with past similar projects, as well as access to and expert operation of multiple types of heavy construction vehicles and machinery.”
Notice to Proceed took place in January 2017, with a construction substantial completion date of November 2023. Currently, concrete paving and widening continues northbound on the southern end of the project. Final asphalt surface course is being place on the northern end of the project. All eight interchanges are under construction to include drainage and ramp tie-ins. Secondary and frontage roads are under construction to include tie-in and final surface. To be redirected towards the full article on constructionequipmentguide.com, click here.