Posted at 1:40 PM on June 24, 2011
by Elizabeth Dunbar
Filed under: 2011 Shutdown
The demolition of the Bren Road bridge at Highway 169 in Minnetonka won't happen as scheduled this weekend because of the possible government shutdown, City Manager John Gunyou said.
MnDOT has said it expects to prohibit any work within the state right-of-way during a government shutdown, which will begin July 1 unless Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP legislative leaders agree on a budget.
Gunyou this week sent a letter to MnDOT questioning the decision, pointing out that the Minnetonka project is being managed and inspected entirely by the city and its contractors, not the state. Gunyou sent another letter today in response to what MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht told us yesterday about the right-of-way issues.
In the letter, Gunyou says if MnDOT is concerned about jobs being adequately inspected, the city will pay for an additional inspector to be on hand during a government shutdown.
Gunyou says the bridge demolition is on a two-week delay. But if there's a shutdown, the demolition would be delayed further unless the city gets MnDOT to let the project go on during a shutdown.
City officials estimate that stopping the project because of a shutdown will cost up to $3 million for the $15 million project. Potential costs include increased easement rent, delay penalties to contractors and increased expenses to close down and re-open the construction site.
"This is a project that is totally independent of any state shutdown. There's no reason this project has to stop," Gunyou said. "Rather than making the best of a bad situation, they're going out of their way to stop everything."
The city is asking MnDOT to respond by noon on Monday.