End of the road for I-35W bridge lawsuit.

the new I-35W bridge from the bike trail

Years after completion of the replacement for the collapsed I35W bridge in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Supreme Court today rejected a claim by companies that lost out in the bidding process.

Several other construction firms had complained that the bridge builder — Flatiron Constructors and Manson Construction — got the job even though it had the highest cost of the four companies competing, and proposed taking the longest time to build the replacement.

But Justice Alan Page said the Legislature passed legislation that prevented the contract from simply being awarded to the lowest bidder:

Under the design-build best-value approach, the contractor submits a project design and a bid for constructing that design, based on design specifications provided by the State. Minn. Stat. § 161.3426, subd. 4(c)(1). The design-build best-value process differs from the lowest responsible bid process in that it allows public agencies to consider factors other than cost when awarding contracts.

“Although the lowest responsible bidder is still the preferred method for choosing a contractor, the Legislature has determined that in certain situations the design-build best-value procurement approach is in the public’s best interest,” Page said.

Here’s the full opinion

(PHOTO: Creative Commons license by Thomas Brandt on Flickr)

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