Computer Glitch Forces Re-Bid of Oklahoma City Bridge Rebuild
The Oklahoma Dept. of Transportation will have to rebid a six-bridge reconstruction project, potentially worth as much as $82 million, after unknown issues with the agency’s electronic bidding system resulted in the receipt of only partial submissions from some of the participating contractors.
ODOT officials have yet to determine why the system received only a portion of the data transmitted by two of the five contractors vying for the project along Interstate 40 near Oklahoma City. Both contractors reported receiving electronic confirmation that all bid information had been successfully uploaded. The bidding, conducted in March, coincided with a sharp increase in remote administrative work by contractors and ODOT in response to social distancing measures stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak.
The project, which ODOT says addresses metropolitan Oklahoma City’s worst known structurally deficient bridges, includes six structures carrying I-40’s east- and westbound lanes across two arterials and a creek within a one-mile stretch. Originally built in 1960, the three-span, three-lane concrete and steel girder structures range from 217 to 368 ft long. All have required repeated patching and emergency maintenance over the past several years, adding to congestion in a corridor with an estimated daily volume of 39,000 vehicles.
As part of the 30-month reconstruction effort, contractors will add a fourth travel lane in each direction and increase bridge heights to nearly 17 ft. ODOT has awarded a separate contract to resurface the section of I-40 that includes the bridges to minimize the formation of potholes and other pavement issues once bridge construction gets underway.
ODOT plans to rebid the project in May, with the contract scheduled to awarded the following month.