Lone I-94 bid tops estimate.


Byline: Brian Johnson

Another Interstate 94 project appears to be more costly than expected, even as Minnesota Department of Transportation officials review bids for an over-budget segment of I-94 work between Monticello and Clearwater.

Rogers-based New Look Contracting submitted a $15 million apparent low bid Friday for an estimated $11 million project to build a temporary crossover on I-94 between Maple Grove and Rogers. The crossover is a prelude to the expansion of I-94 in that area.

New Look Contracting was the only bidder for the crossover work. The bid is subject to review before a contract is awarded. Pending a contract award, the work is expected to happen this summer.

Dave Aeikens, spokesman for MnDOT's Metro District, said the temporary crossover lanes will help keep traffic flowing while workers expand I-94 between Maple Grove and Rogers during the next two years.

"We want the traffic to be able to move as smoothly as we can while we are doing the reconstruction work between Maple Grove and Rogers. We know there will still be delays, but this should be helpful," Aeikens said.

Jerome Adams, MnDOT's project manager for the Maple Grove-to-Rogers segment, said the crossover project will widen and reinforce shoulders in the project area.

That will allow the design-builder on the Maple Grove-to-Rogers project to "push traffic onto the shoulders so we can maintain the same number of existing lanes at all times during construction," Adams said.

The work is part of an estimated $350 million expansion of I-94. The expansion is broken into three segments: Monticello to Clearwater, St. Michael to Albertville, and Maple Grove to Rogers. All the segments are bid separately.

MnDOT is scheduled to open bids in October for the estimated $120...

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