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Bids open for Highway 78 median project

LAWRENCEVILLE - Three companies have bid for the right to begin a construction project that will build a median on U.S. Highway 78, but what exactly the work will be remains unclear.

Two spokespeople for the Georgia Department of Transportation could not confirm whether the bids were for the first phase of the project - likely, Evermore Community Improvement District Director Brett Harrell said, considering their cost - or for the whole thing.

And Harrell said when he spoke to the DOT last week, they told him the bids would be delayed several weeks so additional improvements could be added to the project.

The seven-mile project will cost $30 million and will be divided into four phases. The lowest bid opened Friday was for $7,675,174.10, spokesman David Spear said. That bid was from R.J. Haynie and Associates, Inc.

Two other bids were received, one for $8,229,992.02 from Transcore ITS, and another for $8,697,300 from Infrasource Concrete and Paving Service, which would be doing business as Flint Construction.

Harrell said he was surprised to learn the bids had been opened. He was told last week that the project would be bid again with additional improvements included.

"I was not expecting anything today," he said Friday. "I'm glad it's going forward. No way can that be the whole project."

The bid will be awarded May 4 or after, Spear said, once officials have a chance to review all three offers. Each of the project's four phases is expected to take about six months, with the first going from the Gwinnett County line and going to East Park Place. The second phase will continue to Killian Hill Road, the third will go to Highpoint Road and the last one will end at Ga. Highway 124.

A reversible lane on the stretch of U.S. Highway 78 will become a median and right- and left-turn lanes will be added. Jessica Daron Court will be extended, providing a parallel road, sidewalks will be added and the road will be landscaped. Street signs will also be illuminated.