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Losing bidder protests Maryland selection for Beltway, I-270 toll lanes developer

Offit Kurman Attorney, Edward Tolchin, quoted in the Washington Post Regarding Contractor Bid Protetst

By: Katherine Shaver | March 4, 2021

As Published in the Washington Post

A losing bidder has filed a protest against the Maryland Department of Transportation’s recent selection of two Australian firms to develop billions of dollars’ worth of toll lanes for the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270, the agency said Wednesday.

MDOT wouldn’t say which company or companies lodged the complaint or what wrongdoing is alleged. It also declined to release the protest filing. MDOT selected toll road operator Transur­ban and investment bank Macquarie Capital, but the contract is pending approval by the state’s Board of Public Works.

Chris Larsen, chief executive of one of the two losing bidders, Itinera Infrastructure and Concessions, said Thursday that a bid protest didn’t come from his team. He declined to comment further, saying he didn’t “know anything about the protest.”

Ed Tolchin, a Bethesda-based lawyer who specializes in government contracting for the law firm Offit Kurman, said bid protests are “very common” on large, lucrative projects.

“As the bucket of available money becomes smaller with budget cuts, people fight a lot more over these awards,” said Tolchin, who is not connected to any HOT lanes bid.

“To put a proposal together on a massive project like this, the costs could be very high,” he said. “It can involve scores of people, and that gets very expensive.”

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