Several Charlotte and Lake Norman businesses attended the kick-off meeting for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Bonding Education Program (BEP) at the Charlotte Piedmont Community College (CPCC) Elizabeth Campus on Thursday, Sept. 24.
U.S. DOT selected the I-77 project, the public-private partnership contract between North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and I-77 Mobility Partners, as a BEP site for 2015 with a focus on heavy highway opportunities. This program’s successes in Chicago, Dallas and other cities, including Charlotte, have helped contractors qualify for
bonding to participate in construction projects.
“We decided to take part in the bonding education class to learn more about the rules, policies and programs so that we can be involved in the bidding process for transportation projects,” said Anita Staton, owner of Miles Freight Solutions in Charlotte. “Small businesses are the engine for job creation in the community and projects like this allow small businesses the potential opportunity to bring more staff on board, which in turn generates money back into the local economy.”
Focusing on small and emerging as well as minority-owned and woman-owned businesses, the BEP offers comprehensive educational workshops and bond ready courses to assist these contractors not only for bonding but also to prepare them for the potential contract opportunities for work on this project. Upon completion of the program, these contractors will receive access to and insight from resource services and experts in highway construction to help them bid on and prepare for current and future transportation-related projects.
“Small businesses keep people employed in the community,” said Tom Brewer, owner of Right of Way Contractors LLC in Mooresville. “An educated contractor makes a project easier. I am attending the program to learn more about the I-77 Express Lanes project and what bonding is needed as part of this project.”
I-77 Mobility Partners and Sugar Creek Construction make it a practice of hiring local and regional contractors, subcontractors, consultants, material suppliers and other vendors in the project area. During construction, the project’s contractor, Sugar Creek Construction estimates between 50 to 100 local firms are expected to work on the project.
“We believe it is important to work with local firms during the design and construction of this project because a project of this size is a catalyst for generating jobs and stimulating economic development for the region,” said Angela Roberson, Corporate Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Manager for Sugar Creek Construction. “We have used this model on other projects and it has produced amazing results. We are excited to do the same in this region.”
The BEP is open to all qualifying contractors. For more information about the program, individuals can email Alyssa Mako at email@example.com. More information about the program can be found on the U.S. DOT website. Contractor Opportunities for the I-77 Express Lanes project can be found online on the Contractor Opportunities page.