Rome is burning

The firms behind the failed FIU bridge give up the fight to rebuild I-395. So now what?


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The controversial Interstate 395 reconstruction project, stalled for a year by litigation, is back on track after a consortium of builders and a former Miami commissioner dropped separate legal challenges alleging state transportation officials had botched the bid competition for the $800 million contract.
The consortium, led by international giants Fluor and Astaldi, included Munilla Construction Management and FIGG Bridge Group, the builder and design engineers, respectively, for the Florida International University pedestrian bridge that collapsed on March 15 while under construction. The bridge catastrophe, which claimed six lives, has put MCM and FIGG under a microscope as the National Transportation Safety Board investigates.
The Fluor-Astaldi-MCM consortium, or FAM, filed a bid protest last May after the Florida Department of Transportation picked a competing proposal by a team led by contractors Archer Western and The de Moya Group to replace the obsolete, mile-long I-395 expressway. The new elevated highway that would replace the old span includes a "signature" bridge over Biscayne Boulevard that's meant to help advance the area's ongoing urban renaissance.
But FAM withdrew its challenge last month after receiving an unfavorable opinion from an administrative judge in Tallahassee, state records show. FDOT Secretary Mike Dew then awarded the bid to Archer Western, the records show. 

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