Repair work begins on Metrodome roof

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March 14, 2011 // UPDATED 11:35 am - March 25, 2011
By: Gregory J. Scott
Gregory J. Scott
DOWNTOWN EAST — As cranes hoisted ironworkers up toward the sagging Metrodome roof, Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission head Ted Mondale told a gathering of reporters, “We’re going to be ready to play football this fall.”

March 23 marked the first day of repair work on the damaged roof, which collapsed during a snowstorm on Dec. 12, 2010.

Hand-picked union laborers from Ironworkers Local 512 will work 10-hour days, six days a week to have the new roof installed by August 1. The workforce will start at around 20, but will grow to as many as 100 workers when the labor hits full tilt this summer.

“We’ve got a deadline to hit,” union rep Charlie Roberts said. “Rest assured we’ll have this thing buckled down.”

Workers will start by replacing the three diamond-shaped panels in the center of the roof that first tore during the initial collapse. Each of the diamond-shaped panels is about 40 square feet in area — about 1/1000 of the total surface of the 10-acre, fabric roof.

Birdair, the New York-based engineering firm heading up the project, will be responsible for disposing of the damaged panels.

Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson said that the team is working with the NFL to have their first preseason games, schedule for late August, be away games, so as to leave as much time to prep the Metrodome as possible.