Met Council carves up Southwest rail contract

  • Article by: PAT DOYLE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 26, 2012 - 12:28 AM

The move to split up the work rather than give it all to URS Corp. after the Sabo bridge troubles came with debate over a likely rise in cost.

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kleindropperJul. 25, 1210:19 PM

The Legislature did not approve any funding for the Southwest corridor. Why is the unelected Met Council allowed to spend any taxpayer money on it?

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SeaSharkJul. 25, 1210:26 PM

The SABO BRIDGE fiasco should have hammered the final nail in URS Corp.'s coffin as far as being allowed to bid on contracts for future Minnesota engineering construction projects. The Met Council should have awarded the Southwest Light Rail contracts to Los Angeles bidder AECOM and dropped the contingency plan for a second level of oversight; MnDOT and Metro Council engineers already on the payroll can oversee construction unless an outside consultant's opinion is deemed necessary for insight and recommendations about occasional specific problems. The Met Council's apparent eagerness to pacify URS with a mercy contract award is being perceived by the public as a pathetic failure of decisive professional leadership and public safety stewardship. The Met Council should stop worrying about hurting URS's feelings and focus on making prudent business decisions.

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smeeagain2Jul. 25, 1210:35 PM

Pay now or pay later. Personally, I'd rather have the money spent on decent companies that won't design something that will fall down in a few years. URS has proven itself to be a lackluster performer. Lets spend more up front and get a quality project.

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rovinnumskulJul. 25, 1211:11 PM

urs wants a contract for the southwest rail project. but couldn't, or wouldn't test there design of the sabo brdge. blew the 35 w consultation. and now want more contracts from us i say no you have done enough damage already.

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dflpartyJul. 26, 1212:07 AM

These are unelected and unaccountable Democrats, of course they are going to spend excess taxpayer dollars whenever they can. It is unfortunate that they have such little respect for MN taxpayers that they won't even interview MN engineering firms for the project.

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YellowDog2Jul. 26, 12 1:03 AM

Why is URS being to even build bridges in Minnesota after the deaths of the 35W bridge they built, and now the failure of this 2nd bridge? They should be banned from Minnesota entirely, in my opinion! Safety first!

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redwingrebelJul. 26, 12 4:59 AM

Well....who did they award the contracts too?

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minneg56Jul. 26, 12 6:51 AM

At some point 2 things do come into play -1. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don't know. 2. All the work typically goes to the lowest bidder ... so does it matter who does it? They all come from the same engineering schools. They all go to work for the same companies and when they go after promotions and better jobs they go to each other's competitors. All the labor for the work is drawn from the same pool. All the materials for these jobs are produced in the same places. Ultimately you get what you pay for.

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mn2niceJul. 26, 12 7:02 AM

I agree with Councilmembers Jennifer Munt and Edward Reynoso that the safety factor is paramount. URS has not demonstrated they would be the best choice for this project. If the project ends up costing $20 million more for that added safety margin, then it will have been money well spent.

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mplslakesJul. 26, 12 7:11 AM

How would this play out in the private sector? Would a private company blow $20 million in the same scenario? I doubt it. They'd go to the contractor, play hardball, and take steps to ensure the job is done right. But it's different when it's taxpayer money.

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