Highway 6 contract approvalexpected May 8

By Joe Rutherford/NEMS Daily Journal

Mississippi’s Transportation Commission is expected to formalize awarding a paving contract for the final 11 miles of new Mississippi Highway 6 to APAC – Mississippi Inc.
APAC was the apparent low-bidder at $26.06 million, and the decision is expected to be announced May 8, MDOT Tupelo District Engineer Bill Jamieson said Wednesday.
The highway, with only the link between U.S. Highway 45 in Tupelo and Mississippi Highway 342 in Pontotoc County unpaved, is forecast to be completed in October 2013.
Bids were opened April 24 in Jackson, and formal action usually follows in the commission meeting on the second Tuesday of the following month, Jamieson said.
The bid opening had been delayed – after originally being schedule for March – because of last-minute delays in completing documents.
Jamieson said APAC, which is headquartered in Jackson and has operations in Tupelo and Guntown, probably would begin its work on Highway 6 by late July.
Two other bids were higher than APAC’s submission:
• Laurel- and Ellisville-based Tanner Construction Co. Inc. – $26.672 million,
• Memphis-based Lehman-Roberts Co. – $28.227 million.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation had projected the cost at $26.359 million.
Jamieson said the bid delay required pushing the estimated completion back because end-of-project work is usually particularly weather sensitive.
The new highway will have an interchange near Pontotoc with the new Highway 9 under construction from Sherman to near the Nixon community.
Once completed, Mississippi 6 will provide a four-lane link from Interstate 55 at Batesville to four-lane U.S. 45 in Tupelo.