High Stakes for Taxpayers as 35W Bridge Bid Case Goes Before State High Court

Billions in Future Government Spending on the Line

Minneapolis, MN--It could just be one of the biggest cases most Minnesotans have never heard about. On March 1st, 2010 the Minnesota Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit that could determine the process by which state and local government spend billions of tax dollars on future projects.

The lawsuit, filed by two construction executives, challenges how the Minnesota Department of Transportation awarded the contract for construction of the 35W bridge in Minneapolis. Transportation officials selected the highest bidder for the bridge replacement job, taking into consideration several factors other than the overall cost under the state's complex and evolving design-build/best value procurement law.

In discussing the competing bids, a 2008 Star Tribune editorial called it “the $71 million question.” $71 million was the difference between the highest and lowest bids for reconstruction of the bridge.

While the outcome will not spur the global media attention of the tragic bridge collapse in 2007, the court’s ruling could well have far reaching consequences for Minnesota taxpayers, businesses and government.

Click here to view a Freedom Foundation of Minnesota video examining the stakes involved in the "$71 million question” before the Minnesota Supreme Court.

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