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Continued: For I-35W bridge, a vision of safe and simple

  • Article by: JIM FOTI and MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 9, 2007 - 12:14 AM

He said he and his clients "will be taking a hard look" at the scoring data before deciding what to do next.

Details of other bids and scoring

In outlining the decision to hire Flatiron, MnDOT released a series of documents that listed the shortcomings of the unsuccessful bidders.

In addition, other documents provided details concerning the decisions of a six-person technical committee, whose scoring led to Flatiron's selection.

The scoring documents showed that none of the committee members gave the Flatiron team a technical score lower than 87 (it had an overall score of 91.47). In contrast, none of the panel members gave any of the unsuccessful bidders a score higher than 77.05.

Under the heading "experience and authority of key individuals," a category where a company could be given a maximum of 20 points, the documents released Monday showed that Flatiron had a technical score of 18.83, compared with 11.43 for Ames/Lunda, 12.07 for McCrossan and 14.33 for Walsh/American Bridge.

In reviewing the Ames/Lunda proposal, the technical committee found that while the lead bridge designer had 27 years of experience, the project manager did not have that experience on a major river crossing project or on a design-build project.

The panel also found that the team's design left a bridge pier "susceptible to movement due to thermal effects" and that "the future profile of 35W was not compatible with the future construction of interchanges at University Av. and 4th Street SE. as it required the removal of the bridges at 2nd St. SE. and reconstruction of the river bridge."

The panel also noted that, in the Ames/Lunda proposal, "the visual quality experience for the drivers of 35W appeared lacking."

In addition, the panel said, the Ames/Lunda "public relations staff appeared too small for this size and type of project."

MnDOT representatives confirmed that Santiago Calatrava, the renowned Spanish architect, did try to offer a bridge design as part of the proposal submitted by the Walsh/American Bridge team. MnDOT's Kevin Western, a member of the six-person evaluation team, said the design was rejected because of a lack of redundant structural features.

Jon Chiglo, MnDOT's manager for the project, said Monday that the cost of making this particular design ready for light rail was $4.7 million. Early estimates were in the $20 million to $30 million range.

jfoti@startribune.com • 612-673-4491 mkaszuba@startribune.com • 612-673-4388

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