The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recently announced the grant of $875,000 to a local firm for the purpose of installing a series of closed-circuit cameras and message boards along a widened segment of I-85 from south of Bruton Smith Boulevard (Exit 49) to N.C. 73 (Exit 55) in Concord. ALS of North Carolina, Inc., a company based out of nearby Salisbury, was the awardee.
This award is a shot in the arm to a state infrastructure that has been tenaciously pursuing Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) designs in order to improve travel conditions, increase safety and minimize delays for commuters and travelers across the state. NCDOT’s intent in awarding these funds for its declared purpose is to combine the use of information devices to relay traffic updates, construction and weather information to the public.
Message boards will be installed in three locations: I-85 North approaching Bruton Smith Boulevard (Exit 49); I-85 North approaching George Liles Parkway (Exit 54); and I-85 South after N.C. 73 (Exit 55); while closed-circuit cameras will observe and report on I-85 North approaching Bruton Smith Boulevard; I-85 South at Poplar Tent Road (Exit 52); I-85 North approaching George Liles Parkway; George Liles Parkway at I-85; and N.C. 73 at I-85.
It is expected that work will be underway in early December of this year, with a targeted completion scheduled for Nov. 1, 2015.
This award, while substantial, is but a drop in the road and bridge contract bucket, where in NCDOT has of late doled out $173.4 million for projects across North Carolina. Per state law, these contracts were awarded to the lowest bidders, which came in, in total, approximately $7.9 million below initial NCDOT estimates. State officials see this as an prime example of a state agency working efficiently and productively toward a big-ticket infrastructure goal, and hope that it sets an example in light of what is sure to be a tough road ahead with regard to overall federal and state infrastructure funding in the coming year.
ROADS/BRIDGES: NCDOT awards contract to bolster visualization along major interstate
The nearly $1 million award will be applied under the state’s ITS initiative