NCCAR seeks funds

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 26, 2008

JACKSON – More funding is being sought to construct an access road for the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research Site (NCCAR).

At Monday’s Northampton County Commissioner’s Meeting, the commissioners approved a request for funding of $292,000 which will come from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) with support from the General Assembly.

“The funding will make the costs associated with the industrial access road construction and design whole,” said Northampton County Economic Development Director Gary Brown.

According to the resolution of the commissioners in support of an economic development project application to the General Assembly and the DOT, the construction of Phase 1 for the NCCAR project will begin soon and the construction includes the building of a 2,200-foot industrial access road.

Also stated in the resolution, “Northampton County has purchased and contributed the right- of- way for the industrial access road and NCCAR has provided master- planning and preliminary engineering and environmental evaluation and permitting services for the access road.”

The estimated total cost of construction of the industrial access road is $1.57 million, including $1.3 million for roadway and structure costs and $263,200 for engineering costs, according to the resolution.

The resolution also states, “The North Carolina General Assembly and the North Carolina Department of Transportation have provided $1.2 million for roadway and structure costs, and NCCAR has programmed $78,200 for the same cost.”

NCCAR is an independent, non-profit center that will be used for product research, testing and development in the automotive industry.

Phase 1 of the project includes a 2.03-mile ride and handling course, vehicle dynamics area, internal road system, building pads for the Administration and Operations Building and Security Kiosk and associated vehicles and truck parking areas.

The one- month bidding period for Phase 1 recently closed. Ten million dollars separated the low and high bids.

The low bid of $8.4 million came from PLT Construction in Wilson, while the high bid of $18.7 million came from S.T. Wooten Corporation, according to Brown.

Glover Construction Company in Pleasant Hill, Virginia Carolina Paving, Richardson Construction Company and Phillips & Jordan Incorporated also submitted bids on the project.

When completed, features for the center will include a 4.6-mile ride and handling course designed to exacting standards, vehicle dynamics areas with high- speed entry, advanced chassis dynamics laboratory, client garages with virtual office connectivity and two axle chassis dynamometer with climatic air handling and emissions.