Minority, women-owned businesses receive contracts worth $109M

Disadvantaged business enterprises helping build South Mountain Freeway. (Submitted photo)

The team building the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway has awarded more than $100 million in contracts to local, small businesses.

According to a press release, the companies are run by socially and economically disadvantaged groups, including minorities and women.

The $109 million exceeds the Arizona Department of Transportation’s goal for Connect 202 Partners, the developer building the 22-mile freeway, awarding $108 million in construction and professional services contracts to disadvantaged business enterprise firms.

This is the most awarded for any ADOT project since the agency launched its Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Program in the 1980s to help qualifying small businesses compete for transportation contracts, the release noted.

Statewide, there are nearly 1,200 certified businesses, owned by people from socially and economically disadvantaged groups such as women and minorities, according to the release.

“This program helps level the playing field for disadvantaged business enterprises in Arizona,” Rob Samour, ADOT’s senior deputy state engineer for major projects said in a prepared statement. “And thanks to the efforts of Connect 202 Partners and these small businesses, we’ll be able to deliver the South Mountain Freeway by late 2019 and provide much-needed traffic relief for Valley motorists.”

To date, 90 construction contracts totaling $84 million have been finalized with 71 disadvantaged business enterprises, all but two of them owned by Arizonans.

The contracts cover many tasks involved in building a freeway, including landscaping, rebar, painting, drainage, concrete and masonry.

An additional $25 million has been awarded to disadvantaged business enterprises for work in design, quality control, public information and other professional services.

In 2016, ADOT finalized the state’s first highway public-private partnership agreement with Connect 202 Partners, consisting of Fluor Enterprises Inc., Granite Construction Co. and Ames Construction Inc., with Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. as the lead designer for $916 million to design and build the South Mountain Freeway, with major construction started in 2017.

The South Mountain Freeway will provide a direct link between the East Valley and West Valley and an alternative to I-10 through downtown Phoenix, the release stated.

Approved by Maricopa County voters in 1985 and 2004, as part of a comprehensive regional transportation plan, the South Mountain Freeway will complete the Loop 202 and Loop 101 freeway system in the Valley.

For more information on the South Mountain Freeway: SouthMountainFreeway.com.
To learn about ADOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Program: azdot.gov/DBE.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 24,000 homes.

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