NC Awards Additional $4 Million for I-40 Work

Mon November 10, 2003 - National Edition

GREENSBORO, NC (AP) The state Board of Transportation has approved another $4 million for work on Interstate 40 in west Greensboro, sending a project that is a year behind schedule further over budget.

When it awarded the contract in January 1999, the state expected the work to cost $60 million and take until September 2002. With the recent addition, the state has spent $74 million and work is expected to continue until the end of the year.

Odebrecht Construction of Coral Gables, FL, is widening the highway from Chimney Rock Road to Sandy Ridge Road to four or five lanes in each direction.

The state expects urban interstate roadwork to run over budget, but the I-40 overruns are more than typical. The costs have risen because workers had to remove more of the road’s foundation than expected, said Darrell Ferguson, the engineer overseeing the work for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) in Greensboro.

The state rewrote Odebrecht’s schedule to account for the additional work and offered the company bonuses to work faster. The company has failed to meet the previous two deadlines.

Three lanes are open each way now, with more lanes expected to be open by Thanksgiving.

The deadline for opening all of the lanes was Aug. 15, and Odebrecht faces a potential fine of $20,000 a day for not meeting that deadline. The company also faces a potential daily fine of $2,000 for failing to complete the entire job by Sept. 30.

Ferguson said this year’s near-record rains have delayed the work because it could not be continued at night.