MCNC seeks contractors to install fiber-optics along bridges in northeast N.C.

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Proposals from qualified vendors will be received until Sept. 23 at 5 p.m. EST

Editorial Contacts:
MCNC Communications Hotline: (919) 248.4105
Noah Garrett, NGC Communications, on behalf of MCNC: (252) 423.1277 or press@mcnc.org

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.  (Aug. 19, 2011)MCNC , the private, not-for-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), announced today that it has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) from qualified contractors to attach new NCDOT-approved conduit and fiber cable along five North Carolina bridges included on the project route for the second phase of the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI) awarded through the federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). 

This RFP is designated for bridges in northeast North Carolina to include: Virginia Dare Bridge (U.S. 64 Bypass over Croatan Sound); U.S. 17 over Chowan River; U.S. 94 over Intracoastal Waterway; Washington Baum Bridge (U.S. 64 Bypass over Roanoke Sound); and the Wright Memorial Bridge (U.S. 158 over Currituck Sound).

Respondents may submit proposals for one or all of the bridges. At MCNC’s sole discretion, each bridge may be awarded separately or not at all. MCNC has applied for encroachment permits from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to allow for the installation of conduit on all of the bridges included on the project route. Receipt of approved encroachment permits is anticipated prior to the selection of a contractor.

Proposals will be accepted in electronic format only. A direct link to this RFP is available online by clicking here. Proposals should be submitted to MCNC Chief Financial Officer Patricia Moody at pmoody@mcnc.org . Vendors assume all risk of email delivery. The firm deadline for submission is Sept. 23 at 5 p.m. EST. Late proposals will not be accepted or reviewed.

All inquiries and questions related to this RFP must be directed in writing via email to MCNC’s BTOP RFP Review Committee at btop-notices-bridge@mcnc.org. To maintain fairness to all bidders, any attempts to contact MCNC staff regarding this RFP outside of this specifically provided email vehicle will be grounds for MCNC to reject a submission. All questions will be considered to be public and released with appropriate answers to https://www.mcnc.org/btop/btop2-rfp/bridge-questions within 48 business hours of receipt. The last date for questions will be 4 p.m. EST on Friday, Sept. 16.

Interested parties also can register to view the RFP and other relevant information at www.mcnc.org/btop.

The GLRBI must be completed in accordance to federal guidelines. To keep from impacting the citizens and tourism in these regions, it is expected that no work for this portion of the project begin prior to Oct. 15, 2011, with all work required to be complete by April 1, 2012.

All construction for both Round 1 and Round 2 portions of the GLRBI must be finished by Jan. 31, 2013 to allow MCNC time to equip and place the fiber optic into service on or before July 31, 2013.

The vendor(s) selected for this RFP will join all of the following firms for Round 2: Globe Communications, Fiber Technologies, Edwards Telecommunications, CommScope, and Kimley-Horn and Associates.

MCNC reserves the right to modify any information presented in this RFP as information becomes available.


About The Golden LEAF Foundation The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The foundation receives one-half of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state. The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission. The foundation has awarded 1,110 grants worth over $511 million since its inception. To learn more about applying for a grant, visit www.goldenleaf.org or call (888) 684.8404.

About Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative MCNC currently is working on a $144 million expansion of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) scheduled to be completed by 2013. This initiative has been labeled the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative.

To fund this expansion, MCNC applied for and received two U.S. Department of Commerce Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) awards totaling $104 million. In addition, MCNC raised $40 million in private matching funds as required by the BTOP program. MCNC’s sources of matching funds included $24 million from the Golden LEAF Foundation, $8 million from the MCNC Endowment, $4 million from private-sector wholesale telecommunications company FRC, and an estimated $4 million through donations of land and existing conduit from individual community colleges, universities, and others including the Albemarle Pamlico Economic Development Corporation. No direct funding from the State of North Carolina was required. MCNC estimates the expansion of NCREN will create or save 2,500 engineering, construction, and manufacturing jobs in the state.

Both MCNC awards are -part of a coordinated strategy developed by the Office of North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, the N.C. Office of Economic Recovery & Investment, and e-NC Authority to improve broadband access for businesses and residents in underserved areas. Once all work is complete, the two rounds of BTOP infrastructure have the potential to serve directly, or through MCNC partnerships with private-sector service providers, more than 1,500 community anchor institutions, 180,000 businesses, and reach more than 300,000 underserved families.

Online Resources For more information regarding all of MCNC’s BTOP activities, visit MCNC’s BTOP Central Web Space online. You also can follow the progress of the GLRBI at www.twitter.com/GLRBI or www.facebook.com/GLRBI. Questions? Please see our FAQ section regarding Round 2 construction questions, or contact us for more details.

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