Metrodome repairs stalled as engineers decide next stepsby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio,
Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Five days after the Metrodome's roof collapsed, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission met this morning to get started on the official process of getting the roof back up. Work on repairing the roof has stopped for the day while engineers assess what to do next.
On Thursday the commission approved $1.5 million in contingency funding to pay for the repair effort - although finance committee chair Paul Thatcher said he expects an insurance policy will cover much of the cost.
They also got a look at the additional damage at the dome - a fourth panel ruptured on Wednesday, forcing workers on the Mall of America Field to abandon their equipment and retreat to the safety of the dome's concourses.
"We're trying to melt the snow on the roof," said Steve Maki, the dome's facility manager. Maintenance personnel have sealed off luxury boxes and press facilities to try and keep heat in the building. They're trying to get it up to 90 degrees under the stands.
Officials, though, said that the additional damage on Wednesday shut down the effort to re-inflate the dome for the foreseeable future. They also briefly discussed the cost of replacing the roof entirely, but said that figure was only for planning purposes at this point.
MONDAY'S VIKINGS GAME
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings are waiting for NFL approval to use the University of Minnesota TCF Bank stadium for its game against the Chicago Bears Monday night.
University of Minnesota says there's been "overwhelming" response to their request for help in digging out TCF stadium in time for Monday's possible NFL game between the Vikings and the Chicago Bears.
Jimmy Nyembwe was one of hundreds of people lined up this Thursday for a chance to shovel snow from the stadiums seats, concourses and field in order to "be a part of history."
"I think it's to do something and help the team out. I like the Vikings," Nyembwe said.
The shoveling jobs pay between $9 and $10 an hour. By midmorning, university officials turned people away, saying they had all the workers they needed Workers can check in again at the stadium on Friday morning at 8 a.m.
- All Things Considered, 12/16/2010, 5:24 p.m.
Tim Nelson is a general assignment reporter for MPR News.