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Explosives were used to take down portions of the Metrodome on Sunday morning to accelerate its demolition and address safety concerns.

Richard Tsong-Taatarii , Star Tribune

Explosives used to speed up Metrodome demolition

  • Article by: CHRIS HAVENS
  • Star Tribune
  • February 24, 2014 - 8:15 AM

The eastern part of downtown Minneapolis rumbled and shook Sunday morning as explosives brought down more portions of the Metrodome.

The charges, in a short, rapid succession of cannon-like booms, went off about 7:30 a.m. In a matter of seconds, the roof ring fell and the corners of the 32-year-old stadium collapsed. The roof ring is a key part of the roof structure.

The demolition work is being done to make room for construction of a new $1 billion stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.

“Mission accomplished,” said John Wood, senior vice president of Mortenson Construction, the project’s general contractor. “The ring beam is on the ground just as planned. The event was safe, no one was hurt and there was no property damage.”

Demolition workers used 84 charges of dynamite set in 24 columns of the upper concourse, according to a statement from the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority (MSFA).

Authorities blocked off streets surrounding the stadium and halted light-rail service during the event.

The decision to use the explosives was made after demolition work of the facility was halted last week after a ring beam unexpectedly fell out of sequence. No one was injured and the debris fell within the demolition safety zone, so no passersby were at risk of injury.

After consulting with structural and demolition experts this week, the MSFA said the safest way to bring down the remaining portion of the ring beam would be with the “controlled explosives.”

The new stadium is scheduled to open in July 2016.

© 2014 Star Tribune