ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A state official says construction contractors won't be blocked from claiming losses related to Minnesota's state government shutdown.

Transportation Department spokesman Kevin Gutknecht said Friday that the agency expects to face claims for projects idled by the 20-day government stoppage in July.

But he declined to estimate the cost and says it could be months before contractors know how much the road work delays set them back.

A last-minute provision in the shutdown-ending budget bars contractors from claiming shutdown-related damages unless their contracts explicitly anticipated the government closure. But Gutknecht says contracts for road projects allow claims from contractors when the government suspends the work.

Finance & Commerce reported Thursday that MnDOT has received 110 notices of potential shutdown claims from contractors who had to stop road work.

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