BOSTON-The bid on the last major piece of construction work on the Big Dig, the massive highway construction project here in the heart of the city, came in $24 million lower than expected, thrilling officials with the project, which has been plagued with huge cost overruns.Rita Strazzeri, spokeswoman for the Turnpike Authority, confirms for that the bid from Modern Continental Construction Co. was just under $415 million. “Our internal estimate was $439 million and this was significantly lower so we were very happy about that,” The project in question involves razing the elevated Central Artery, rebuilding it underground and creating a huge swath of greenspace above it. According to Strazzeri, once Modern Continental’s bid was accepted its proposal has to be examined to ensure that every aspect of the scope of the project was included. “Assuming that everything is in there, they’ll win,” she says. However, she adds that it looks like they will get the bid. The one other bidder was a joint venture, J.F. White/Perini/Interbeton/Slattery, which bid nearly $492 million for the project.Most Big Dig construction contracts have ended up costing tens of millions of dollars more than their original bids, causing the project costs to balloon from $6.4 billion to its current $14.4 billion price tag.

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