$6.7 million contract awarded for work on University Drive

Deon Construction Co. Inc. of Warren was the apparent low bidder at $6.7 million to add a center turn lane and other improvements on 1.6 miles of University Avenue at Pine Bluff, according to a spokesman for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

The contractor should begin mobilizing for the project about the first of the year, said Glenn Bolick of the AHTD’s public information office, adding that the work should be completed in late 2014.

The contract calls for widening the street, which is also U.S. 79-B, from four to five lanes with the addition of a center turn lane and other improvements, said Bolick. The work involves straightening out a sharp curve near the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and related drainage improvements.

The section under contract begins at U.S. 65-B (Martha Mitchell Expressway) and ends just north of the UAPB campus, according to the bids considered Wednesday.

The construction work has been delayed for more than a year because the municipality requested that utilities be relocated underground during the widening process, the spokesman said.