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Workers complete summit of New Vikings Stadium’s ring beam

The new Vikings stadium’s construction celebrated its midpoint this month with a tour for media, but workers didn’t break for half-time.

Cranes soared, machines rumbled, and the workforce that’s elevated to 900 members on-site kept making progress as reporters, photographers and videographers documented the progress.

Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf commended the workers efforts and the teamwork the Vikings have enjoyed with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, Mortenson Construction and HKS.

Wilf said:

This stadium will truly be a landmark for civic pride. As an organization, our focus remains on offering the best game day experience possible. As we see the excitement in our fan base growing on a daily basis, we’re driven harder to honour their passion and commitment for this team by providing the fan experience they expect and deserve. Over the next 15 months, we’ll continue to ensure that when we kick off in 2016, we’ll have built a stadium that showcases Minnesota on a national and international level and makes Minnesotans proud.

The midway mark is quite a milestone, and the project remains on schedule for completion in July 2016.

A significant recent accomplishment was pouring the concrete at the highest point of the ring beam that encircles the perimeter at the roof line. According to Dave Mansell, the general superintendent of the project for Mortenson, workers were about 269ft above the event level when they poured the concrete at the northwest corner of the stadium.

Women of Steel
Mortenson Construction Executive Eric Grenz said crews have erected about 5,000 of the 11,000 tons of steel that will be used on the roof, including five of the eleven queen’s post trusses that will span from the ridge truss to the ring beam on the east and west sides of the stadium. The ridge truss is moving closer to completion, with two segments remaining to be linked to complete the span of about 1,000ft.

Grenz and Mansell said Danny’s Construction, a woman-owned local business, is leading the way on the high-roof steel that is scheduled to be complete at the end of September. Danny’s is one of 55 women-owned businesses out of the 228 Minnesota-based enterprises working on the project, which also has 33 minority-owned businesses.

Snow Deflector Continues, Infiltration System Begins
Last month, work began on the snow deflector system around the building’s top perimeter that is designed to catch snow as it comes off the stadium’s roof, then melt it with a heating system so that it can flow into the site’s infiltration system. Excavation work recently began at the now-closed portion of South 5th St. for the infiltration system that will be below part of the stadium’s plaza. The gutter system will connect to the infiltration system.

Mansell said the snow gutter is 65ft-wide and 90ft-deep at its largest point, “so we could hold snowboarding contests up there.”

Finance and Commerce on Friday featured a write-up of Dave Bice, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe. Bice is the founder of Forest Lake-based Bald Eagle Erectors, which is working on the snow deflector system.

Structural Concrete More Complete
Grenz said the overall progress of structural concrete is about 80% complete, meaning that over 80,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured in the past 13-14 months.

An additional US$19.5m to be contributed to the new stadium

It has also been confirmed this month that the Minnesota Vikings and the Wilf family will contribute an additional US$19.5m to the team’s new stadium.

The money will be directed, among other things, toward plaza enhancements, food service equipment, seat upgrades and a deck that looks out toward Minneapolis.

Viking owner & team president, Mark Wilf confirmed in a news release about the latest development:

Our focus remains on providing a first-class experience to our fans. When the process is over and we open this building in 2016, we want to say we did what we could to ensure the best game day experience possible.

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Images courtesy: Minnesota Vikings/HKS