Stadium on task; Dome being largely recycled

As the tearing down of the Metrodome continues, its parts are being put to use and the new stadium construction is moving ahead on schedule.

The Metrodome is no longer part of the Minneapolis skyline, but the plan is to make good use of the remnants of the building.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority announced Wednesday that the majority of Metrodome will be recycled as part of its ongoing demolition of the stadium site. The demolition/removal is scheduled to be completed in April.

All of this is happening while construction activities for the new Vikings stadium excavation and foundation work continues.

"Our project is moving forward according to plan," Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the MSFA, said in a statement. "Demolition of the Metrodome will be substantially complete by the end of April and excavation and foundation work for the new stadium continues. We're also pleased that our demolition plan calls for more than 80 percent of the material that is being hauled away to be recycled for renewed use elsewhere."

As part of the project update: The MSFA said that excavation is nearing 50 percent completion; 15 percent of the new stadium's drilled piers have been installed; underground mechanical and electrical utility work continue; and foundation concrete elements are being formed.

The recycling statistics are intriguing.

Metrodome seats that were not sold were already recycled. More than 120 tons of cast iron and 75 tons of High Density Poly Ethylene were recycled and sold to Minnesota manufacturing companies. 80,000 tons of concrete will be recycled for use in other building projects. The metals of the demolition being recycled include 2,500 tons of structural steel that has already been reclaimed and are being prepped for recycling off site, 2,000 tons of steel remain in the existing structure and will be recycled, 25 tons of precious metals have been recycled, and 300 tons of roof cables have been recycled.

Anyone who passes by the old Metrodome site doesn't see anything resembling the Downtown East project that is going to have the new stadium as its centerpiece. But the project remains on time for the anticipated July 2016 stadium opening and, best of all, the old Metrodome isn't simply being landfilled. It's being put to use as reclamation material or part of the new footprint for the stadium.

John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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