Joint-venture contractors on the 12.3-mile Hiawatha light-rail line in Minneapolis-St. Paul have agreed to pay $4.6 million to settle federal charges that they fraudulently reported use of disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) on the $715-million project, completed in 2004. Parsons Transportation Group, part of the project's design JV, says it was mistakenly named as a pact participant in the Justice Dept.'s Aug. 24 announcement. The firm and other designers were not targets of the government subcontracting probe nor did they “review or approve” DBE activities, a spokeswoman says. Justice did not return calls for comment.
Project JV contractor Minnesota Transit Constructors Inc. will pay $1.85 million of the total settlement, with lead firm Granite Construction Inc. paying $1.1 million, says a spokeswoman. Also on the team was contractor C.S. McCrossan Inc., Maple Grove, Minn. Unnamed subs will pay a total of $2.75 million, she says. The pact resolves allegations that firms knowingly submitted false claims of DBE use on the project. The line links the cities' downtowns with the local airport and included $424 million in federal funds. Edwards and Kelcey, a unit of Jacobs Engineering Group, was also on the design team.