Fluor Corporation has announced that its joint venture together with United Infrastructure Group Inc. has been selected by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to widen and improve a 7.5 miles (12km) long stretch of Interstate 26.
The project will widen I-26 from two lanes to four lanes in each direction from Exit 40 (NC 280/Airport Road) to the I-40 interchange in Asheville. The project will include two interchange reconstructions, one at NC 280 (Airport Road) and the other at NC 146 (Long Shoals Road), and the construction of seven new bridges; two over Glenn Bridge Road, two over Biltmore Farms Road, two over the French Broad River, and one segmental bridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway over I-26. This stretch of I-26 currently carries more than 58,000 vehicles per day. Fluor will book the US$263m contract in the third quarter of 2019. Construction is scheduled to begin this autumn, with project completion to occur in the spring of 2024.
“This project will help alleviate traffic congestion and improve the safety and operational efficiency for drivers on this vital stretch of interstate heading in and out of Asheville and intersecting with I-40,” said Terry Towle, group president of Fluor’s infrastructure and power business. “When completed, it will upgrade access to existing roadway connections and improve existing road surface conditions. We plan to serve the project needs in Asheville from our nearby and well-established operations center in Greenville, South Carolina.
“We are thrilled to be able to lead a project that is in our backyard and that will improve the daily lives of so many citizens. This is a significant strategic milestone for Fluor. Not only does it help us to showcase the advantages of our heavy civil business model, but it firmly establishes our position in the bid-build, self-perform market and expands our market offering beyond the traditional design-build and public-private partnerships.”