The North Carolina Dept. of Transportation (NCDOT) has set Sept. 30 as the new target date for completing the Oak Island Bridge project in Brunswick County, N.C. Part of a new 4.5-mile link to connect Oak Island with the mainland south of Wilmington, the troubled $36.5-million project has twice experienced lengthy delays since work began in August 2007. Construction was halted for six months after a 121-ton concrete girder fell 40 feet from a temporary support brace in December 2008, killing one worker and injuring two others. Prime contractor Barnhill Contracting Co., Tarboro, N.C., and bridge erection subcontractor Lee Construction
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.