Reporters and photographers were given a tour of the construction site, where officials said $184 million of $803 million of contract work has been finished and more than $1 million worth of work is being accomplished daily. In a conference room at project headquarters, a game clock counts down the 634 days until completion.
The new stadium was 23 percent complete at the end of September, project director Allen Troshinsky of Mortenson Construction said.
“There actually is a lot of finished space over there. It’s like you could start painting some of the walls,” said Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgren of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. She said more than 650 workers are at the site daily, and over 200 Minnesota companies are involved. That workforce is expected to swell to more than 1,100 by next summer.
“That’s what it’s about: Minnesota jobs,” Kelm-Helgren said.
Thirteen cranes are operating at the site, and two more will be added. Concrete operations are in full swing and are about halfway complete, with 55,000 cubic yards of concrete poured so far, Troshinsky said.
The site should be enclosed by the winter of 2015-16, with mainly interior work continuing from November 2015 to June 2016, Mortenson general superintendent Dave Mansell said. The stadium’s “substantial completion” date is July 2016.
Pouring concrete in the winter may be a challenge, but Mansell said he saw no problems executing the design of the 65,000-seat building, which features a steel “prow” on its western side rising more than 270 feet from grade.
“I don’t design them, I just build them,” Mansell said. “If they can draw it, we can build it.”
The Vikings are set to play in their new stadium with an inaugural preseason in mid-August 2016. For the next two seasons the NFL team is playing in TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota. The new stadium will host the 2018 Super Bowl.
The Metrodome was torn down and the site excavated in November.
SULLIVAN, DUCASSE BEING EVALUATED
The Minnesota Vikings are having injury trouble in the middle of their offensive line.
Center John Sullivan and right guard Vlad Ducasse were hurt on the same play Sunday in the first quarter at Buffalo, and neither returned to the game. Sullivan suffered a concussion. Ducasse hurt his knee. Coach Mike Zimmer said Monday the team will learn more about their status as the week progresses.
Ducasse was already filling in for Brandon Fusco, whose season is over because of a torn pectoral muscle. Backup tackle Mike Harris replaced Ducasse at guard and Joe Berger stepped in for Sullivan at center.
The Vikings rushed for 158 yards against the Bills, who were leading the league in that category. They allowed five sacks, though.
SENSER’S WIFE FINISHES WORK RELEASE
The wife of former Vikings player Joe Senser is being allowed to return home after completing a work release assignment for her conviction in a hit-and-run accident that killed a chef.
Monday was Amy Senser’s release date, Minnesota Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sarah Latuseck said. Senser will be subject to random drug and alcohol testing as part of her supervised release, Latuseck said. Senser has also lost her driver’s license for about five years and must pay a $6,400 fine.
Senser was sent to prison for the 2011 hit-and-run death of 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong, a chef at a now-closed restaurant, on a dark freeway ramp in Minneapolis. He had just finished work at 11 p.m. and was putting gas in his stalled car when he was struck and killed by the SUV Senser was driving. Senser told investigators she left the scene because she believed she struck a construction cone or barrel.
There were no witnesses. Phanthavong’s body, which was thrown 50 feet, was found on the ramp, along with pieces of Senser’s Mercedes-Benz.
A jury in 2012 convicted Senser of two counts of criminal vehicular homicide — one for leaving the scene and a second for failing to call for help. She was acquitted of a third count of gross negligence.
Senser, 48, completed six months of work release, meaning she was allowed to leave the facility only for work. She will be under supervision until her sentence expires in December 2015.
Senser’s attorney, Eric Nelson, said last week that she had no issues during her time on work-release, the Star Tribune reported.
A state law that went into effect in August cuts off the “ignorance” defense in hit-and-run cases.