Friday, December 6

November bids accepted

*Each month the routine business – that is, the approval of low-bid awards by the Texas Transportation Commission – will be announced as part of a push to ensure Texans know about each TxDOT construction project in their respective area. The idea here is to make sure every construction project, and not just the major ones, is recognized and accounted for - at least at the project's start.

A word about the bid proces.... Each month bids are accepted over the course of a few days for specific projects that are "let" across the state. The bids are sent to the Texas Transportation Commission, in Austin, to be officially awarded during their montly meeting (held toward the end of the month). By rule, TxDOT awards contracts to the lowest bonded bid - that helps eliminate any shenanigans in the bid process. We don't want Bobby to get all the work because he and Carl are best buds while Bill stands out in the cold, even though Bill might have the right qualifications. We want to be as fair as possible.

The projects described below are at least a few months from starting, and only the projects within the San Antonio District boundaries are described here. At any rate, here's our first of a monthly series announcing project contracts awarded to our contractors:

In an ongoing effort to improve safety and address congestion,the Texas Transportation Commission approved a total of $9.8 million to seal coat two stretches of the state highway system in Frio and in Kendall counties.

Clark Construction of Texas, Inc., submitted an accepted low bid of $4.7 million to seal coat Texas Spur 581 between Farm to Market 1582 and the southbound I-35 frontage road south of Pearsall. That work will take about six months to complete and should begin early spring 2014.

Ronald R. Wagner & Co. submitted an accepted low bid of $5.1 million to seal coat less than a mile of Ranch to Market 473 at FM 1376 in Kendall County. The work will take about eight months to complete and should begin early spring 2014.

“As Texas roadways become increasingly crowded, we must find ways to relieve congestion without compromising safety,” said Phil Wilson, TxDOT executive director. “Keeping travelers moving safely and efficiently will continue to be an ongoing priority as Texas welcomes nearly 1,000 newcomers each day.”

Seal coats, also known as chip seals, are simple and relatively inexpensive pavement surfaces designed to extend the life of a roadway. A seal coat is an application of a layer of asphalt binder covered with a layer of aggregate, or rock chips, atop an existing paved surface. The average life of a seal coat or surface treatment is about six to eight years; however, some have performed successfully for periods of up to 20 years.

These projects typically require lane closures to complete – often a single lane at a time – and, in rural areas, can cause traffic to be limited to a single lane in each direction. Temperature requirements for the asphalt limit work to spring, summer and fall months.