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Highland Lake Road bids more than double projected cost

The NCDOT rejected bids for the much-debated Highland Lake Road improvement after they came in at more than double the original estimate.

Contractors' bids ranged from $6.1 million to $7.2 million, Mayor Nick Weedman told the Local Government Committee for Cooperative Action last week. The low bid exceeded the original estimate of $2.6 million by $3.5 million. Because NCDOT rules won't allow a bid award that much higher than the projection at the division level, the job is being rebid out of Raleigh, DOT engineer Lonnie Watkins told the Henderson County Transportation Advisory Committee last week. The contract let date is now May 21.

The construction price does not include right-of-way the state has to acquire from property owners, including part of the Park at Flat Rock owned by the village.

Weedman, who is part of a Village Council majority that strongly opposes the widening, told the LGCCA, "When you look at the cost benefit, I don't see the cost benefit."

The project is expected to start in late summer or early fall and take two years to complete.