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A scoring error leaves DOT flummoxed on bridge grants

PIERRE -- The state Department of Transportation used a flawed calculation to rank applications for the first round of South Dakota's bridge improvement grants. Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said there was a conversion error that affec...

PIERRE - The state Department of Transportation used a flawed calculation to rank applications for the first round of South Dakota's bridge improvement grants.

Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said there was a conversion error that affected all of the scores.

Grants approved by the state Transportation Commission last month won't be affected, he said.

While the rankings order changed in some cases, none dropped from the approved group, according to Bergquist.

But the department is reviewing other applications with the accurate scoring system, he said.

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"We're still going through that information," Bergquist told commissioners Thursday.

His plan is to discuss the unsuccessful applicants at the next meeting and DOT would make recommendations for correcting the error.

He said he's not suggesting backtracking on the April decisions.

"That's money out the door, so to speak. Some of those projects are underway," he said, adding, "We regret that it happened."

The goal now is "to make the best out of an unfortunate situation," he said.

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