Paving contracts seen as a 'bargain'

Friday, April 11, 2008

CHAPEL HILL -- Comments at a small bid opening here on Tuesday indicate how soft the road construction business is now in Tennessee.

"We just need to keep our volume at our plant," said Chris Hawkins, owner of his family's asphalt paving company in Wartrace. "We'll do a good job for them."

Three town roads are to be resurfaced this spring and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is scheduled to consider Hawkins' $93,000 bid on Monday evening.

Wright Paving Contractors of Fayetteville, which has a Shelbyville office, bid $102,802. Sessions Paving of Fayetteville bid $126,580. Lincoln County Paving bid $96,760.

Comments heard from the several bidders' representatives indicate the widening of U.S. Highway 64 and a few other state projects has road crews employed, but that the road construction business is experiencing a highly competitive market.

Three of the four bids were less than the cost of a similar project three years ago, Town Administrator Mike Hatten said. Since then the price of petroleum products has gone up.

"It sounds like these guys need work," Hatten said.

Bill Griggs, co-owner of Griggs & Maloney Engineers of Murfreesboro, attended the bid opening in the police and fire departments' building on Horton Highway.

The bids reflect a price of $63 per ton of installed asphalt, Griggs said.

Chapel Hill opened the bids on one contract for three road-paving projects that total 1.2 miles. The town street projects are: 2,650 feet of Depot Street; 2,500 feet of Lawrence Avenue; and 1,200 feet of High Street.

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