On Sept. 19, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) announced the award of Minneapolis' I-35W bridge rebuild contract to the joint venture between Flatiron Constructors, Inc. and Manson Construction, according to a press release on the Mn/DOT website. Flatiron-Manson had the highest technical score out of the four bidding contractors, with a 91.47 compared to a 67.8 from Walsh- American, a 65.91 from McCrossan and a 55.98 from Ames/Lunda.
Flatiron’s bid was the highest of the four bids at nearly $234 million and is proposed to take the longest at 437 days for a complete rebuild according to the release. As a result of these factors, both McCrossan and Ames/Lunda are protesting Mn/DOT’s decision, according to the Star Tribune. These protests are based on the initial requirements that Mn/DOT set out looking for the least expensive bridge in the shortest amount of time that fit the parameters of the technical score.
The Tribune also reported that the protesting bidders have to file with protest official Betsy Hayes, who will evaluate the situation and inform Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau of her findings; the ultimate decision for repeal or adjustment is up to Molnau. Also according to the Tribune, when entering into the bidding process, bidders agreed to comply with the protest process, which restricts their rights for retribution.