Firm linked to 35W bridge wants to design new St. Croix bridgeRegional News
-- An engineering firm that was linked to the fatal Minneapolis bridge collapse in 2007 wants to design the new Saint Croix River bridge near Hudson.
ST. PAUL - An engineering firm that was linked to the fatal Minneapolis bridge collapse in 2007 wants to design the new Saint Croix River bridge near Hudson.
The URS Corporation of San Francisco is among those bidding to design the estimated $620-million-dollar four-lane span. And if it doesn’t win the contract, URS still wants to be chosen to review the final design. When Mark Dayton ran for Minnesota governor in 2010, he said the state should end its ties with URS because it did not find the major design flaw in the Interstate 35W bridge that collapsed. URS reviewed the project, and the federal government blamed the collapse on connector plates that were too thin to support the weight of that bridge.
Now, a spokeswoman says the governor still has concerns about the company – but he cannot stop URS from bidding, because it was never put on a list of vendors barred from doing state business. Minnesota and Wisconsin are splitting the costs of the new bridge. URS said it did not design or build the Minneapolis bridge, and the firm is willing to meet with Dayton discuss his concerns. Kevin Gutknecht of Minnesota’s DOT says the bidders will be evaluated on their skills, knowledge, and technical factors.