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Suit over 35W bridge contract will go to state Supreme Court

  • October 22, 2009 - 9:08 PM

A lawsuit over the construction contract for the new Interstate 35W Bridge is headed for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The court has agreed to hear a case that two Minnesota taxpayers with ties to the state construction industry have brought against the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Flatiron-Manson, which won the $233 million contract in 2007.

Colorado-based Flatiron submitted the highest bid and beat out three competitors in a complicated scoring process that took into account construction time, aesthetics and other factors.

Lower courts have rejected arguments by plaintiffs Scott Sayer and Wendell Anthony Phillippi that Flatiron's bid didn't meet the state's requirements. An Appeals Court ruled in the state's favor over the summer.

The suit is not related to the numerous liability suits stemming from the collapse of the bridge on Aug. 1, 2007. The first of those trials is expected to begin in 2011.

JIM FOTI AND PAT PHEIFER

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