- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - There’s a leak on the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium, and the general contractor said Friday the building needs between $3 million and $4 million in repairs.

Mortenson Construction Vice President John Wood said stadium designers and builders will cover the cost, so it won’t be added to the overall budget or cost taxpayers or the team any money.

Wood told Minnesota Public Radio (https://bit.ly/1oy6EP2 ) that water from the snow gutters at the top of the building isn’t getting into the stadium interior, but it is making its way into an outer wall where construction crews spotted it leaking out.

The fix will require a fairly conspicuous repair. Workers will have to remove the U.S. Bank Stadium sign and pull off about one-third of the stadium’s dark metal cladding to replace the faulty moisture barrier.

“It’s fortunate that we found the problem during construction. It’s going to be fixed during construction, and it’ll be done by the time the building opens and won’t delay that opening,” Wood said.

Also Friday, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority tentatively agreed to pay Mortenson $16 million for cost overruns even though the final figures are still being tallied. The authority is overseeing construction of the $1.1 billion stadium and approved the payment to resolve a mediation claim by Mortensen. The money will be put into an escrow account pending completion of the stadium this summer and a final accounting.

The authority estimates that the overruns could reach between $26 million and $29 million by the time the stadium is finished at the end of July, but the governing body can cover them because the project budget includes a contingency fund of more than $30 million.

The cost overruns involve ongoing changes on the project, such as additional electrical capacity and material upgrades.

MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said the agreement does not increase taxpayers’ share of the stadium costs, but it does include an additional contribution of more than $5 million from the Vikings.

“The state has not put in $1 of additional money,” Kelm-Helgen said. “There is no more state money, number one, and number two, this project has to stay in budget, and if there are additional things, someone else has to pay for it.”

The disputes have centered on whether ongoing changes were add-ons or simply unexpected.

“Getting this matter settled is just a huge relief for everybody, all parties, and it’s really going to remove a dark cloud that’s been hanging over the project for the last 18 months,” Wood said.

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This story has been corrected to show the source of the leak is from the gutters, not the roof.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, https://www.mprnews.org


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