Western Bypass Bids a Rorschach Test

The construction bids are in for the Western Bypass, Sean Tubbs writes for Charlottesville Tomorrow, but it’s not yet clear whether they’re good news, or bad. Seven bids were submitted, ranging from $136M to $214M, all of which exceed the $125.6M budget. A Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman says that they’re all within the entire $139M design-build budget, but Tubbs points out that pretends that none of that additional $13.4M engineering budget has been spent when, in fact, $9.3M of it had already been spent as of June 17 of last year. That seems to make it pretty clear that all of these bids are beyond the state’s financial means, unless VDOT chooses to allocate additional funding to the project.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board is scheduled to name the winning bidder of the design-build contract on June 20, which is also when the public will be able to see the design that was submitted.

7 Responses to “Western Bypass Bids a Rorschach Test”


  • builditandtheywillwhine

    These bids are good news for those who want a bypass and very bad news for Dennis Rooker and everyone who told us this would cost $500 million to build.

  • James Bacon had this insightful prediction a couple of weeks ago:

    “Given the uncertainties [of VDOTs bid offering], bids could be all over the map, with different contractors basing their bids on different assumptions and leading to very different design solutions.”

    This is probably why the bid spread was so wide, with an $80m difference between the high and low. VDOT provided so little background information on the project, and consistantly stated that the information they did provide could be wrong. All we know now is that all bids have come in somewhat over budget, but we don’t really even know yet what these firms were bidding on. That won’t be public until the decision has been made.

  • All we know now is that all bids have come in somewhat over budget, but we don’t really even know yet what these firms were bidding on. That won’t be public until the decision has been made.

    This seems like a crucial point.

  • This seems to be a different bidding process than what VDOT normally uses. Any particular reason for that?

  • It involves Cville, which goes apeshit with assumptions and lack of information.

  • Really? We think this bypass has nothing to do with the water ‘plan’ that is dependent on using the bypass land to move the water? We don’t have to be conspiracy theorists to make that connection. We just have to pay mild attention.

  • Dont get me wrong Barbara, we would go apeshit WITH the information just as well.

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