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The team files a protest with a designated "protest official," in this case, Betsy Hayes, a manager in the Department of Administration. Under the rules, Hayes may consider only whether MnDOT's award is "arbitrary, capricious or contrary to law." She will then make a recommendation to Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau as to whether the award should be reaffirmed or remedied in some way. Molnau will make the final decision.
No timeline for the process is specified.
In submitting their bridge proposals to MnDOT, bidders agreed to follow the protest procedure and waived all rights to other remedies unless the ruling on the protest is "wholly arbitrary."
In their letter, the two construction teams take issue with "MnDOT's restrictive protest procedures," which, they say, are insulated "from effective inquiry, review or oversight."
The federal government has appropriated $250 million for cleanup and replacement, though Minnesota does not yet have most of that money in hand.
Jim Foti 612-673-4491
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