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Arizona Department of Transportation awarded a $39.9 million contract for Phase 2 of the Hwy. 179 Improvement Project to the same contractor working on Phase 1.

By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers

Arizona Department of Transportation awarded a $39.9 million contract for Phase 2 of the Hwy. 179 Improvement Project to the same contractor working on Phase 1.

Southwest Asphalt Paving, out of Tempe, starts work on Phase 2 around Jan. 1, while finishing work on Phase 1, and ADOT said Southwest worked out all the kinks with its subcontractors.

ADOT Hwy. 179 Project Manager Carl Burkhalter said Southwest ran into trouble with some of the subcontractors it worked with on Phase 1, particularly the company hired to pour concrete at Back o’ Beyond Road, but Southwest addressed the problems by changing subcontractors.

Now, “good synergy” exists between ADOT and Southwest as the pace of progress picks up, according to Burkhalter.

ADOT awarded the contract to Southwest as the low-bid contractor.

“ADOT is required [by law] to except the low bid,” Kristen Darr-Bornstein, public outreach manager contracted by ADOT, said.

Burkhalter said sticking with the same contractor will make the transition between the projects smoother. Southwest’s equipment is already here and the crews are familiar with the area and community issues.

“We already have the relationship established,” Burkhalter said.

When Southwest starts construction on Phase 2, Phase 1 won’t be done yet. 

“There will be an overlap and they will be doing both things at once,” Darr-Bornstein said.

Phase 2 includes work on Hwy. 179 from the new Back o’ Beyond roundabout to a roundabout planned for the ‘Y’ intersection. Phase 1 stretches from just south of the Village of Oak Creek through Back o’ Beyond.

ADOT expects to finish Phase 2 in Spring 2008, a few months after construction starts on Phase 2.

Work in the business district — from the ‘Y’ intersection to just south of Hillside Sedona — starts after February 2008 and is limited to an eight-month duration by the contract.

The contract also offers incentives and penalties to encourage Southwest and its subcontractors to get work done quickly in front of businesses. Southwest is also required to hire an arborist.

ADOT expects Phase 2 to be completed in 2009.

“We’re looking forward to getting done by the end of ’09, early 2010,” Burkhalter said.


Trista Steers can be reached at 282-7795, Ext. 124, or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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