Transportation Commission expected to award Highway 16 contract today

By By William F. West / community editor
Sept. 10, 2002
PHILADELPHIA State transportation commissioners are expected to award a contract today for the four-laning of a 21/2-mile stretch of Highway 16 near the Choctaw Reservation.
Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall said Monday that he and his two fellow commissioners recently received bids for the job, part of a two-phase project.
Hall said the commission is expected to receive bids next month for the second phase, which would widen about 2 more miles.
Ken Wallace, MDOT's district construction engineer, said the first phase calls for four-laning Highway 16 from the Exxon convenience store at North Loop Road to the junction of Highway 15 at the Williamsville community.
Four companies competed for the work on that stretch: W.S. Newell of Montgomery, Ala., with a $9.6 million bid; W.G. Yates and Sons of Philadelphia with a $9.8 million bid; Eutaw Construction of Aberdeen with a $10.7 million bid; and RayCon Construction of Tuscaloosa, Ala., with a $11.5 million bid.
Wallace said the first phase is scheduled to be completed in October of 2005.
He said two lanes will be built south of the highway and that traffic will be diverted to the new pavement so crews can reconstruct the existing two lanes.
He said MDOT will not give the notice to start work until December because crews have to relocate utility lines.
Highway 16 passes the Choctaws' Golden Moon and Silver Star hotels and casinos and the Choctaws' Dancing Rabbit Golf Club all part of the Pearl River Resort.
The two-lane stretch is congested with traffic heading to and from the casinos. It also is also becoming increasingly lined with convenience stores, motels and other small businesses.
Wallace said the second phase of the project calls for widening Highway 16 to five lanes from North Loop Road past the Golden Moon, the Silver Star and the Dancing Rabbit to the short four-lane stretch open on the west side of the Choctaw reservation.
Wallace said he anticipates the second phase will be complete by late 2005.
Hall said the current Highway 16 projects should not be confused with MDOT's future plans to build a bypass around Philadelphia.

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