Lawsuit continues against new Minn. freeway bridge

35W bridge span
Construction on the I-35W bridge that collapsed last August is running approximately three months ahead of schedule. While construction has been going on, MnDOT is being sued by a contractor who claims the department did not follow its own rules when awarding the contract.
MPR Photo/Brandt Williams

The new Interstate 35W bridge will probably be finished before a lawsuit over the bidding process behind it goes on trial in December.

Two construction executives are suing the Department of Transportation because they allege it ignored its own rules in giving the job to Flatiron Constructors of Colorado.

Flatiron submitted the highest bid and tied for the longest timetable, but it's now on pace to finish the bridge three months early.

Plaintiffs attorney Dean Thomson filed addition information in the case on Thursday.

He says if he wins and the court declares the bidding process illegal, the state could pay up to $50 million less than the bridge's current $234 million price tag.

A judge denied an earlier request to halt construction while the lawsuit was pending.

MnDOT spokeswoman Lucy Kender says the agency doesn't discuss pending litigation.

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