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Despite planning, unexpected stuff happens. A portion of the project falls sooner than planned or takes longer. Rebar arrives too early. Two cranes are scheduled to be erected on top of each other. Winter is colder than expected, and propane costs soar.
Mansell shrugged. “Last year it snowed on May 14. … We’ve still got the same two dates. Everything that happens in between, you’ve got to deal with it,” he said.
When a part of the Metrodome fell earlier than expected, work had to stop on that part of the site, but Mansell brought in other equipment and started working on other activities earlier than planned. Each piece of equipment or truss hauled onto the site has to be choreographed to control flow. “We tell everybody when they need to deliver,” Mansell said. “Otherwise it would randomly pile up like there’s no tomorrow.”
If that happened, he’d know. Aides say he wore a pedometer one day while managing Target Field construction. His tally: 26 miles.
Troshinsky later pointed out Mansell briskly walking in the rainy construction pit. “He touches every part of the project every day multiple times,” Troshinsky said.
Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Michele Kelm-Helgen said working with Mortenson has been easy and collaborative, not adversarial. “If there’s a problem, it’s never about who could have done something or whose fault it is; it’s about solving the problem,” she said, adding. “Our biggest risk and their biggest risk is the schedule. We fall behind, and that’s money to everybody.”
As for his famous showdown with Pohlad, Mansell said, “I don’t make the decisions. I just tell them what they can and can’t do.”
The upgrades Pohlad wanted were done — after Opening Day, Mansell noted.
Ultimately, he said, “What I do doesn’t matter. What matters is the guy putting the pipe in the ground. … I just make sure they can do what they need to do.”
Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747