The selection of a politically active Boise company to oversee the biggest highway construction program in state history has been put on hold after questions were raised over how it won the contract. The Idaho Transportation Board voted 4-1 last month to give the contract to Washington Group International of Boise and CH2M Hill of Denver, though its evaluation committee had unanimously picked the competing bidder, New York-based Parsons Brinckerhoff and HDR Engineering. Officials at Parsons Brinckerhoff charged, in a letter to the department, that board members improperly favored a local, politically connected company – something federal regulations forbid. Federal highway officials are questioning whether proper procedures were followed as well.
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