Deal Speeds Up Work On Us 1 To Keys
Written by Marilyn Bowden on April 24, 2008
By Marilyn Bowden
The final stretch of a 20-year project to widen US 1 from south Miami-Dade into the Keys should be done five years ahead of schedule through a build-now, pay-later deal.
Hialeah-based Community Asphalt Corp., which recently finished three miles of the job, made an unsolicited bid in January 2007 to do the final 11 miles now in return for payment in 2012 — at projected 2012 prices, said Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Brian Rick.
After the state got the bid, Mr. Rick said, it requested proposals, giving other firms about two months to bid. But none was received, he said, and the state on Feb. 11 contracted with Community Asphalt to do the job for $110.9 million in exactly three years.
"If the entire construction phase were shown in today’s prices," he said, "then the contract amount would have been approximately $11.07 million less — but the department would not have been able to fund this project in the current year.
"So the community is getting the project sooner, but the costs are as if we would be letting parts of the project four years from now. It should also be noted that even if inflation increases, the contractor is only going to receive the amounts locked in to today’s inflationary rates."
The project involves widening the road, constructing a new northbound shoulder that could be used as an emergency evacuation route, adding a median barrier and restoring the natural water flow beneath the highway.
The final leg extends from Mile Marker 116 to Southwest 344th Street in Florida City.
Although US 1 from Key Largo to Florida City is known locally as the "18-Mile Stretch," Mr. Rick said, the length of the new Community Asphalt project is about 11 miles.
Construction began in March, he said, with completion scheduled for March 2011.