Construction of St. Paul soccer stadium gets vertical

Construction workers and local officials joined in Minnesota United’s “beam signing” ceremony Nov. 21.

Union tradespeople hoisted the first beam of St. Paul’s new professional soccer stadium Nov. 21, after a ceremony that drew local officials, Minnesota United executives and club sponsors to the Midway construction site.

General contractor Mortenson Construction broke ground on the 346,000-square-foot site in June. Since then, workers have completed most of the excavation and foundation work, removing 200,000 cubic yards of dirt and pouring 10,500 yards of concrete.

Now, workers will begin erecting nearly 50 tons of steel, most of it fabricated at a facility in Wisconsin.

Minnesota United celebrated the new phase of construction work on its $200 million future home with last week’s “beam signing” ceremony. Club employees, elected officials, union representatives, construction workers and other stakeholders took turns autographing one of the columns.

Mortenson officials at the ceremony said the stadium build is proceeding on schedule. They expect it to take about 20 months to complete.

Scott Johnson, a business agent with Ironworkers Local 512, signed one of Allianz Field’s columns.

“I think that the progress of the stadium has been inspiring, and that there have been a lot of people working hard,” Mortenson’s Greg Huber said in an interview with Minnesota United’s official website. “We’ve been working 10-hour days, six days a week, on critical path work. So there have been a lot of folks – a lot of women and men – who have been working very, very hard, long hours, to get us to this point.”

A project labor agreement (PLA) negotiated with the St. Paul Building and Construction Trades Council covers all present and future construction work on Allianz Field. PLA’s establish terms and conditions for construction employees and contractors on a project, from wages and benefits to overtime pay, grievance procedures and more.

By setting terms and conditions at the outset, project owners make their labor costs more predictable, weed out irresponsible bidders and ensure labor peace with local unions for the entirety of the project. Several studies show projects built under PLA’s are more likely to be completed on time, within budget and with quality construction.

Allianz Field will hold close to 19,400 fans at capacity. The stadium is scheduled to host its first match in March 2019.

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