A joint venture of Skanska Civil USA's New York City office, Secaucus, N.J.-based Schiavone Construction Co. and Walnut, Calif.-based J.F. Shea Construction Inc. is the low bidder on the first major construction contract for the first $3.8-billion phase of the Second Avenue Subway. The joint venture submitted $337,025,000, says Mysore Nagaraja, president of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Capital Construction Co. He says the bid came in very close to the engineers' estimate. The competing team, lead by the Spanish firm Dragados and Judlau Contracting Inc., College Point, N.Y., submitted a bid of $497 million. "We will go through the qualification process and award the contract in the next two to four weeks," says Nagaraja. The mile-long project will including boring of dual 22-ft-diameter tunnels through hard rock. The construction schedule is for 40 months.

The Judlau/Dragados team last summer beat out a joint venture of Skanska and Traylor Bros. Inc., Evansville, Ind., and a joint venture of Schiavone and Shea to win a $423-million tunneling contract for New York City's East Side Access project.