A Northern Virginia asphalt company prohibited from bidding on state highway projects has been awarded an estimated $1 million paving contract by Arlington County after being the only firm to bid for the work.

Newton Asphalt Inc. of Alexandria, convicted recently of bid rigging on state projects, submitted the only complete bid to resurface county streets, according to a county report.

"The county was not given much maneuvering room with respect to whether this contract should be let," said County Board Chairman Stephen H. Detwiler. But Detwiler said the conviction "draws a cloud over whether this is the kind of company the county should be contracted with."

Newton is prohibited from bidding on Virginia road contracts for the next three years, said a state Department of Highways and Transportation spokesman. Arlington officials said the company is legally allowed to do work for counties. Under the contract, Newton will be paid $26 to $40 dollars a ton for different grades of asphalt used in repaving, at an estimated cost of $1 million.

A Newton official declined comment on the Arlington award.

The county requested bids from other area companies, officials said. Offering the project to potential bidders again would result in substantial costs, a county staff member said, and would not assure an offer from another company.