Roads On Sale

As business slows down, road construction contractors are slashing their prices. They're offering lower bids to states across the country for road work, leading many transportation officials to foresee more work able to be funded by the stimulus.
March 30, 2009, 2pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Pennsylvania officials said contractors competing for their first round of road and bridge projects had offered bids 15 percent lower than the state had expected. Utah officials said some of their bids were coming in 25 percent lower than expected. And a bid to build a 4.7-mile extension of Interstate 49 from Shreveport, La., toward the Arkansas state line came in at $31.1 million, about $4.7 million less than the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development had estimated the project would cost."

"'The bids are coming in lower than we would have imagined,' Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in an interview, adding that the low bids should provide good value to taxpayers. 'I think there's a huge appetite for these projects, and people are raring to go. There's pent-up demand for people to get these bids and get the work.'"

"If the low bids keep coming and the price of construction material stays low, the Utah Department of Transportation hopes to get more work done with the stimulus money than expected, said Nile Easton, a spokesman for the agency. 'We're hoping that we can actually stretch that money,' he said."

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Published on Sunday, March 29, 2009 in The New York Times
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