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November 21
Highway and Bridge Project Awards Total $15 Million Below Estimates During Past Three Months

South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) highway and bridge construction contracts awarded August through October have been approximately $15 million under the anticipated cost estimates, apparently due to economic and market conditions.

 

SCDOT engineers have observed increased competition among contractors seeking work in difficult economic times. The recent drop in fuel prices has also contributed to the bids below estimates.

 

  • In August, there were 34 projects that as a whole were estimated at $61 million.   Bids from contractors for all 34 projects were $54 million.  Amount under anticipated cost: $7 million.

 

  • In September, there were 25 projects that as a whole were estimated at $42 million.  Bids from contractors for all 25 projects were $42 million.  Amount equal to anticipated cost.

 

  • In October, there were 34 projects that as a whole were estimated at $69 million.   Bids from contractors for all 34 projects were $61 million.  Amount under anticipated cost: $8 million.

 

“This will allow us to move further down our priority list of projects for critical needs across the state such as highway resurfacing or bridge projects,” said Secretary of Transportation H.B. “Buck” Limehouse Jr. “Any money saved will go directly toward our state’s transportation system.”

 

Limehouse cautioned that SCDOT revenues, which come primarily from gasoline user fees, are down 5 percent in the current fiscal year beginning July 1 compared to last year. Revenues in September were down 8 percent compared to the same month in 2007.

 

 Limehouse said SCDOT continues to stress cost savings. Earlier this year, The SCDOT Commission voted to approve using funds from a reduction in the agency’s administrative budget for the maintenance of highways and bridges. These savings total $18.7 million and represent a 16.3 percent reduction in administrative expenses. 

 

 “Any costs savings in the administrative area of the Department we are applying toward our core mission, which is the maintenance of South Carolina’s existing highway system,” Limehouse said.

 

A high-resolution portrait of Secretary of Transportation H.B. "Buck" Limehouse Jr.

is available for download at the following location: 

http://www.scdot-transfer.org/scdotphotos/Limehouse.jpg