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Las Vegas Paving gets $225 million bypass contract

The Regional Transportation Commission awarded its portion of the Boulder City bypass to Las Vegas Paving Corp. on Dec. 11, signifying the next step of linking Phoenix and Las Vegas by interstate.

Las Vegas Paving beat out Ames-Fisher Joint Venture and Eldorado Mountain Constructors after the commission brought in evaluators to examine each company’s proposal. In April, the commission approved a $350,000 stipend to the two losing contractors for costs accrued and time spent during the planning phase.

Seven evaluators, three from the commission and four others with engineering backgrounds, examined each firm’s proposal. Cost and design were the two biggest factors in the decision.

Las Vegas Paving’s bid of $225 million was $63 million less than Eldorado Mountain’s second-place bid. Ames-Fisher’s bid was nearly $300 million.

Ryan Mendenhall, divisional manager for Las Vegas Paving and project manager of the Boulder City bypass, said location had plenty to do with the ability to put in a cheaper bid.

“We were the only local contractor; one of the only ones with a local office and local employees,” he said.

Clark County Commissioner and RTC Chairman Larry Brown said, “Some of their innovation was responsible for a lower bid.”

The $225 million project is the second biggest venture Las Vegas Paving has taken on, Mendenhall said. The $250 million Interstate 15 South design-build project, which expanded and renovated I-15 between Silverado Ranch Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue, is the company’s most expensive project, Mendenhall said.

The commission’s portion of Interstate 11 consists of 12.5 miles that begin near Railroad Pass before circling around the Boulder City Municipal Airport and eventually connecting at the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. The Nevada Transportation Department will build the remaining 2.5 miles closest to Henderson.

After the discovery of naturally occurring asbestos delayed the I-11 project by several months, both the commission and the Transportation Department conducted tests to determine the levels of asbestos in the soil. Officials from both agencies said they don’t see the asbestos posing a serious threat, and the Federal Highway Administration recently approved their studies.

“We’re always concerned, but we’ve been given the specifications,” Mendenhall said about the naturally occurring asbestos. “We’ve hired a third-party firm (that is) very familiar with NOA, and we’ll follow all the dust control measures.”

The Transportation Department expects to name a contractor during the first quarter of 2015, spokesman Tony Illia said.

Although the commission had the three contractors create their own project, the department will create its own design, which the selected contractor will build.

Brown said the county’s fuel-revenue indexing, which allows the commission to collect a percentage of revenue from the gasoline pumps until the end of 2016 to fund road projects, accelerated the Boulder City bypass project by at least five years.

He said the county is expected to gain about $700 million from the fuel-revenue indexing, which will create about 200 road projects and nearly 10,000 jobs during the next few years.

“It’s certainly exciting. We are now going to get underway one of the critical construction projects for I-11,” Brown said about the bypass.

“At times it seems like it’s taken a while, but the excitement now that it’s real … early next year we’re going to see some jobs out there, and some progress toward I-11.”

Construction is expected to begin in May.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.

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