CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) The state transportation board Nov. 6 awarded a new contract for completing the stalled Galena Creek Bridge and freeway project in Pleasant Valley, the largest single transportation contract in state history.
North Dakota-based Fish Sand & Gravel Co. was the lowest of two bidders for the project.
Work is expected to begin in January.
The $393.3-million contract is $75 million higher than initial state estimates and is the largest single contract in NDOT history.
The 8.5-mi. (13.7 km) stretch of new, six-lane freeway south of Reno includes four bridges, the largest of which will tower 300 ft. (91 m) above Galena Creek. At 1,790 ft. (545 m) long, it will be one of the longest structures of its kind in the nation.
The bridge fell behind schedule earlier this year when a company that had an $80-million contract to build it stopped work, citing safety concerns due to high winds during construction. Wisconsin-based Edward Kraemer & Sons got $50 million of its money.
Representatives of the new contractor said they are confident the bridge can be built safely.
NDOT spokesman Scott Magruder has said the arched bridge may have added up to $15 million to the overall project costs. But he said the most expensive part of the job involves extensive bulldozing and other work necessary to carve out the roadway in foothills above existing U.S. 395.
The state had hoped to have the entire project between Reno and Carson City done by 2009, although completion has now been pushed back to 2011.
When completed, the freeway is expected to handle up to 40,000 cars per day. It would be just west and upslope of U.S. 395’s current route. The southern extension of the project eventually will tie into U.S. 50, the highway at the base of Spooner Summit that leads to Lake Tahoe and over the Sierra into California.