State offers bonus for quick bridge replacement

MnDOT wants construction to begin on the new bridge on Oct. 15 2007, and to be finished by December 2008. The department is dangling incentives of up to $27 million if the work is finished three months ahead of schedule. There is also a penalty of $200,000 per day if the contractor doesn't finish on time.

MnDOT issued the request-for-proposals to the five teams of contractors that have already been given the ok to bid on the project. The due date for proposals is Sept. 10.

MnDOT is proposing a 10 lane bridge to replace the eight lane bridge that collapsed. MnDOT says the cost of the new bridge will be between $200 million and $250 million. Three more public forums have been scheduled for people to comment on the design.

They are:

--Tuesday, Aug. 28 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the (east bank) campus of the University of Minnesota from 4:30 - 7 p.m. The address is 200 Oak St., S.E. Minneapolis. The open house will be held in AI Johnson Room.

--Thursday, Aug. 30 at the Humphrey Institute Atrium (west bank) from 4:30 - 7 p.m. The open house will be held in the Atrium. The address is 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55455

--Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the IDS Center and the open house will be held in the Crystal Court from 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. The address is 80 South 8th St., Minneapolis.