As major transportation projects unfold in northern Virginia, significant subcontracting opportunities will arrive for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) and Small, Women-owned and Minority-owned (SWAM) businesses to provide products and services to the construction industry.
“Mega construction projects such as the Woodrow Wilson Bridge expansion, I-495 HOT lanes, Dulles Corridor rail, and the Base Realignment and Closure effort generate lots of opportunity for all sorts of business owners,” said Grindly Johnson, chief of equal business and employee opportunity for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). “We’re eager to let businesses know how they can help us, and how we can help them.”
A special outreach event is planned by VDOT to assist companies in learning about opportunities for subcontracting on these mega projects. The open house event is planned for Aug. 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel located in Springfield at 6550 Loisdale Road. Specially targeted to attend are companies certified as DBE or SWAM vendors. Other companies are welcome that may be eligible to certify as DBE or SWAM firms. Representatives from the Department of Minority Business Enterprise will be available to help eligible companies gain these certifications.
During the event, participants may visit exhibits containing information about each project and its business opportunities. Exhibits will be staffed by representatives who can answer questions. Formal presentations on each project will be made twice — at 9:30 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. Exhibits featuring prime transportation contractors also will be on display.
Mega projects have an estimated cost approaching $1 billion or more and usually have a high level of public and/or Congressional interest. Mega projects can involve aviation, rail, transit and highway. Currently, there are at least 15 mega projects in some stage of design and construction across the United States, with several in northern Virginia.
Among the northern Virginia mega projects are these, representing an investment of more than $7 billion dollars:
• Woodrow Wilson Bridge expansion — the last major project is the reconstruction of the I-95/Telegraph Road interchange that will widen I-95 from nine to 12 lanes and improve on- and off-ramp movements at Telegraph Road.
• Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project — Phase 1 is the extension of the existing Metrorail Orange Line to Wiehle Avenue in Reston. Work includes track construction, station construction, utilities relocation and tunnel and bridge construction.
• High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on Interstate 495 — two lanes in each direction will be added outside the existing lanes of the Capital Beltway for a distance of about 14 mi. (22.5 km) between the American Legion Bridge and the Springfield Interchange. All ramps, interchanges, frontage roads, bridges and other crossings that require expansion or other work to accommodate the new lanes are included. Construction could begin in spring 2008.
• High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on I-95/395 — for a distance of 56 mi. (90 km), one HOV/HOT lane will be added to existing HOV lanes, and two new HOT lanes will be built from Route 234 to Massaponax. Construction could begin in late 2008.
• I-95 widening in Fairfax and Prince Williams counties — for a distance of 6 mi. (9.6 km), a fourth general purpose lane will be added in each direction from Route 123 at the Occoquan River to Route 7100 (Fairfax County Parkway). Work also includes widening 10 bridges, including two over the Occoquan River; constructing 16 retaining walls; installing storm pipe; and installing eight sound barriers.
• Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) — several proposed road projects are associated with this Congressional action that requires Fort Belvoir to accommodate more than 22,000 additional Department of Defense employees. Although design and construction of the Fairfax County Parkway Extension through the Engineering Proving Grounds has been funded, funds for other BRAC road improvements have not yet been identified.
Registration for the business outreach event is available on-line at www.wilsonbridge.com/cr-outreach.htm or by calling 703/329-3433.
For more information, call VDOT at 703/383-2345.