Three contractors would like a judge to look at how the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) handled the bidding process for the I-35E project.
C.S. McCrossan Construction Inc., Lunda Construction Co. and Shafer Contracting Co. are asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to look over how the contract was awarded to Ames Construction. The cost to execute the I-35E job, which calls for the construction of MnPass lanes, is $100 million. Ames bid was $11 million more than the lowest bid, which was submitted by McCrossan.
The lawyer for the trio, Bob Huber, said Mn/DOT allowed Ames to make changes in the bid specifications and refused to notify the other bidders. That, he said, violates state law and the agency’s own instructions.
“They don’t have to have rules, is really what they are saying,” Huber told the Star Tribune. “If you can both set the rules and enforce the rules, then decide later whether or not you’re going to enforce the rules, then what good are the rules?”
Work on I-35E, which will cover 4.5 miles, includes the MnPass lanes alongside three lanes for general traffic, a concrete overlay and the reconstruction of nine bridges.