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Firms sued in bridge collapse win state jobs

Associated Press / August 4, 2009

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ST. PAUL - Two companies the state accuses of negligence that contributed to the Interstate 35W bridge collapse have won a combined $50 million in new highway and bridge contracts since the deadly disaster two years ago.

Minnesota’s continued reliance on engineering consultant URS Corp. and paving company Progressive Contractors Inc. is drawing attention amid a slew of lawsuits filed by collapse victims, the state, and the contractors.

Lawyers for the state are trying to recover at least $37 million - the amount a government settlement fund paid to the 145 people injured and relatives of the 13 killed on Aug. 1, 2007.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation declined to comment on its relationship with the vendors because of litigation.

Since the disaster, URS has taken on $6.2 million in new contracts and PCI more than $42 million in new work.