Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions about
the project. If your questions are not answered there, please submit
them using our comment form. You will receive an answer within
seven business days.
What is a design-build project?
Flatiron-Lane will construct phase one of the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project using the design-build method. It allows NCDOT to award contracts to companies who use teams of designers and contractors simultaneously to design and construct a project to expedite its completion. This unique, all-in-one approach helps the department avoid cost inflation and allows the contractor to make innovations that save taxpayer dollars.
How long will it take to complete this project?
NCDOT is proud to announce it broke ground on this project on Sept. 29, with work beginning the following day. Final completion of all I-85 work is set for May 2013.
How is NCDOT paying for the project?
NCDOT awarded the $136 million contract to Flatiron-Lane, a joint
venture of Flatiron Constructors Inc. and The Lane Construction Corp., to build phase one of the project. That money came from several sources:
• The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act;
• State funding that was already set aside for the project; and
• Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle, or GARVEE, bonds. GARVEE
bonds allow NCDOT to borrow against future federal funding.
The department originally estimated phase one would cost $180 million to construct. Because Flatiron-Lane's bid was less than the estimate, NCDOT saved millions of dollars in GARVEE bonds, which it can apply to other GARVEE bond projects in North Carolina.
Why is this project needed?
Safety: The total crash rate on this section of I-85 is about 77 percent higher than the average crash rate for comparable roadways across the state. In addition, the sharp curve just before the I-85 bridge over the Yadkin River often makes it difficult for drivers traveling at high speeds to see traffic congestion or accidents ahead.
Bridge Condition: The I-85 Yadkin River bridge was constructed in 1955. It has a sufficiency rating of 33.9 on a 100-point scale, is rated in poor condition and classified as structurally deficient (having elements that need to be monitored and/or repaired) and functionally obsolete (outdated in design).
Along with the I-85 bridge, both bridges carrying U.S. 29/70 over the Yadkin River are rated in poor condition and classified as structurally deficient. The bridge carrying U.S. 29/70 North was constructed in 1951 and has a sufficiency rating of 34.6 on a 100-point scale. The bridge carrying U.S. 29/70 South was constructed in 1922 and has a sufficiency rating of 14.7.
Mobility: I-85 is the most direct and heavily traveled route between Richmond and Atlanta, and it plays a central role in regional, statewide and interstate mobility. It is a critical north-south corridor along the East Coast and provides strategic connections to other interstate routes including I-95, I-77 and I-26. The project will relieve congestion and improve traffic flow along I-85 while providing access and connectivity for area residents and businesses.
Commerce: The presence of a high-quality transportation infrastructure, including convenient access to major highway corridors and reliable travel time, is important to businesses and plays a critical role in attracting and maintaining economic opportunities.
How can I get more information on bridge construction and roadway work?
Click here to add your name to our update list, and we will e-mail you monthly project status updates throughout the life of the project. You can also click on News & Updates, as well as Traffic Control for more details.
How can I request a speaker to come and discuss the project with my community organization?
Click here to send us a request via e-mail with the name of your
organization, address, phone number and a general overview of your areas of interest. We will contact you to discuss scheduling a meeting.