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Met Council chair rejects bids for Southwest light-rail construction

Alene Tchourumoff
Photo – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's office


Metropolitan Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff has recommended rejecting all four civil construction bids for the Minneapolis area's Southwest light-rail project.

The submitted bids didn't meet the council's cost expectations and other requirements for the proposed $1.9 billion project, Met Council officials said in a press release.

Working in consultation with Hennepin County as the project's primary local funder, the council determined that the bids were too high for the project, which would extend the Green Line through Minneapolis and into area suburbs. The council also determined the bids didn't meet all requirements detailed in the bid documents.

"We must look closely at ways to modify the specifications for these bids in a way that will reduce project costs where possible," Tchourumoff said.

If the council approves Tchourumoff's recommendation, staff will modify the specifications with a plan to reissue the procurement next month. Bids are scheduled to be opened in December and awarded in March 2018.

Reissuing the bid requests would delay the project by four months, moving the opening of the line to 2022. Rejecting all current bids also would delay the council's application for and receipt of a Full Funding Grant Agreement from the Federal Transit Administration.

The federal government's share of the project is $929 million. The project remains "highly competitive" for federal funding, with a medium-high rating under federal scoring criteria, according to the Met Council.

The proposed 14.5-mile Southwest route would run through Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/12/2017