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Associated Press, Published October 15 2013

3 contractors challenge interstate project bid in Twin Cities

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Three construction companies are asking a court to review the award of a $98 million state contract to rebuild a section of Interstate 35 in the Twin Cities.

C.S. McCrossan Construction, Lunda Construction and Shafer Contracting want the Minnesota Court of Appeals to review the Department of Transportation's decision to award the contract to Ames Construction.

The bid by Ames is $11 million more than the lowest bid. State agencies aren't bound to accept the lowest bid and can evaluate them based on other factors.

The attorney for the three companies, Bob Huber, said MnDOT allowed Ames to make changes in its bid specifications without informing the other bidders.

The contract includes the construction of the first MnPass lanes in the east metro, a concrete overlay of I-35E and the reconstruction of nine bridges.