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Design-build contract will use coal synergy to reduce project costs by 50%
BUCHANAN COUNTY— On-site of the U.S. Route 460 Connector Phase I construction project in Buchanan County, Governor Bob McDonnell announced today a contract has been signed to begin the second phase of U.S. Route 460 construction.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), in coordination with the Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships, recently signed a contract with Bizzack Construction, LLC, Lexington, Ky. to design and build the 6.2-mile section to rough grade. Bizzack Construction, LLC, also serves as the design-build contractor for Phase I.
“Creating new access through better transportation will fuel economic development and tourism opportunities never available with the current network of roads,” Governor Bob McDonnell said. “The Route 460 Connector and the Coalfields Expressway are key connections that will open southwestern Virginia to more job and business opportunities.”
Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton added, “By executing a design-build contract, the Commonwealth is able to deliver this project at a much reduced cost. This contract brings Virginia one step closer to creating an improved highway network and connectivity between Route 460 in Virginia and Kentucky, which are federally-designated as Corridor Q, and the Coalfields Expressway. ”
Bizzack recently acquired Rapoca Energy, succeeding Rapoca Energy in the partnership with VDOT to build the Route 460 Connector Phase II to rough grade. VDOT entered negotiations with Bizzack in 2012, and in June the Commonwealth Transportation Board authorized VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley to award and execute a $108 million design-build contract to construct the road bed to rough grade.
U.S. Route 460 Connector Phase II will be a 6.2-mile limited access four-lane highway, connecting to Kentucky’s newly constructed Route 460. The connector in Virginia is broken into two sections, the first already under construction at the Kentucky line near Breaks Interstate Park.
The west end of the U.S. Route 460 Connector in Virginia will connect to a proposed interchange for the Coalfields Expressway.
The design-build contract will use the coal synergy concept to provide a rough grade road bed at a reduction of over 50% in costs.
The estimated cost of the design-build contract – taking into consideration the savings from coal synergy - is approximately $108 million.
Coal synergy reduces road building costs substantially by using the coal companies’ larger-scale earth moving equipment and construction techniques common to the coal industry to prepare the road bed to rough grade, and allowing the companies to recover marketable coal reserves during the road bed preparation.
In August 2009, VDOT awarded the $113 million design-build contract for the construction of the .8-mile section of Phase I of the connector, which includes the construction of twin high-level bridges that will be the tallest in Virginia when completed.
The bridges will be over 250-feet-high and 1,700 linear feet in length. They will span Route 610 (Conaway Road) and Grassy Creek. The .8-mile Phase I project begins at the Kentucky state line, meeting up with the improvements Kentucky is making to Route 460.
An access ramp to Route 80, improving access to Breaks Interstate Park, is part of the U.S. Route 460 Connector Phase I. Secondary connections to Routes 609 and 693 from Route 80 are also being constructed.