The contractor that won the swift bid to repair the two fire-damaged spans on the approach to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is betting it will finish the work well before the June 27 deadline.

 C.C. Myers Inc., Rancho Cordova, Calif., put in the low bid of $867,075, well below California Dept. of Transportation’s repair estimate of $5.2 million. The two 82-ft spans on the I-580 approach collapsed April 29 after a tanker truck hauling 8,600 gallons of gasoline crashed and started a fire.

Caltrans spokesman Bob Haas says the contractor mobilized almost instantaneously, putting crews on the site 15 minutes after winning the bid. Myers capitalized on its role as a contractor for the nearby $6-billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project, scheduled for completion in 2013.  

Myers bid low to take advantage of a $200,000-a-day incentive for every day the work is finished ahead of the deadline. Haas says the contractor believes the work should take about a month to complete. To earn the maximum bonus of $5 million, the firm must complete the project by June 2.

The two other low bids for the repairs were submitted by Pleasanton-based California Engineering Contractors Inc., for about $1.1 million, and MCM Construction Inc., Sacramento, for $1.4 million.

Haas says Myers has ordered steel from plants in Pennsylvania and Texas and will prefabricate the two spans in Arizona.

The I-580 spans collapsed on to the I-880 roadway, but Caltrans was able to shore up the connector enough to open the section to traffic nine days after the closure. Caltrans says work will continue late at night when the impact of closures is less.

Caltrans was able to bid the job quickly because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) declared a state of emergency for the area. The Federal Highway Administration also will reimburse the state for repair costs.