Hennepin County balks at road closings near new Vikings stadium

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 14, 2013 - 10:06 PM

Hennepin officials say plans to close Portland and Park avenues for development near new stadium would limit access to vital services.

hide

Architect HKS Inc. designed these preliminary schematics of a new Vikings stadium.

Hennepin County commissioners on Thursday dampened prospects for closing two busy Minneapolis streets to accommodate development near the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

The stadium is expected to be 1.5 million square feet, 60 percent larger than the Metrodome, with adjacent development that would affect current traffic flow -- especially on game days.

In an informal one-hour briefing and discussion with board members, Phil Eckhert, director of the county's Housing, Community Works and Transit Department, mentioned the possibility of closing Park Avenue S. and Portland Avenue S. for a project to the west of, but not related to, the stadium.

But those are county roads and Board Chairman Mike Opat and Commissioner Peter McLaughlin said the closures were "non-starters."

The massive $975 million stadium is scheduled to open in 2016. It will rise on the same site as the Metrodome in an area known as Downtown East, a gateway neighborhood into the Minneapolis urban core. The area is a confluence of roads into, out of and through the city.

Significant county assets are in the neighborhood, including the medical examiner's office, Hennepin County Medical Center, the energy facility and the Metrodome light-rail transit stop. Even though the county isn't a major player in building the stadium, the board wants to preserve easy access and adequate parking at its facilities.

Opat said that the county plans to be "reasonably accommodating" to the stadium plans, but that the north-south arteries provide access to downtown and the Mississippi River as well as neighborhoods.

Opat said those roads, which also generate state revenue for the county, are critical for access to the medical examiner's building, the Juvenile Justice Center and the county's Health Services Building. Shutting down the two roadways would put the county buildings on cul-de-sacs, he said.

The roads couldn't be closed without county approval, so it seems unlikely they will be. A less drastic -- and more likely -- alternative would be to close the roads on game days.

Minneapolis Deputy Development Director Chuck Lutz watched the meeting from the audience and wasn't surprised by county opposition to the road closures, nor was he combative. "We're working together," Lutz said.

The commissioners took issue with another possible closing: 5th Street S. where it wends around the Dome's southern side.

McLaughlin said the move the county has most regretted regarding light-rail transit was closing 5th Street S. to vehicle traffic in front of the government center. The county may look to reopen that, he said.

Fifth Street S. near the stadium was one of four key issues that Opat cited for the county in the stadium project. The others are the fate of parking space on the 5th Street S. parcel where the medical examiner's office sits, the future of Park and Portland, and the impact on the county's energy center.

Question from the board

Stadium Authority Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen was at the meeting to answer questions.

Commissioner Jan Callison asked, "What do you need from us and when do you need it?"

Kelm-Helgen said she didn't know because designers are still working on the scope and orientation of the stadium and the plaza. A schematic is expected to be unveiled in March.

Among the issues is the possible development by Ryan Cos. to the west of the stadium. Ryan is in exclusive negotiations with the Star Tribune over property owned by the newspaper. The orientation of a grassy plaza outside the stadium hinges on the fate of the Ryan development, which is beyond the control of the stadium authority.

Opat added, "We don't have a role in this. We chose not to have a role." Unlike Target Field, the Minnesota Twins ballpark, the county didn't help finance the Vikings stadium. The county built and continues to finance Target Field with a 0.15 percent county-wide sales tax.

On Friday, the stadium authority and team are expected to select a builder for the project at a 9 a.m. meeting.

Finalists for the job are Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction, which built new homes for the Twins, the NHL Wild, the NBA Timberwolves and the University of Minnesota football team, and Hunt Construction, of Scottsdale, Ariz., which has built several retractable-roof NFL stadiums. Hunt bid jointly with Kraus-Anderson, a Minneapolis construction firm.

Groundbreaking on the stadium is tentatively scheduled for October. The Vikings hope to open it in time for the 2016 NFL season. Kelm-Helgen said it's likely the team will have to play the 2014 and 2015 seasons at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota.

Staff writer Richard Meryhew contributed to this report. Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 Twitter: @rochelleolson

  • related content

  • Vikings stadium builder to be hired this week

    Wednesday February 13, 2013

    The construction firm that will overseeing the building of the new home for the Minnesota Vikings is expected to be named later this week at a special meeting of the...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Tennessee 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Detroit 12:00 PM
New England
Green Bay 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Cincinnati 12:00 PM
Houston
Tampa Bay 12:00 PM
Chicago
Arizona 3:05 PM
Seattle
St. Louis 3:05 PM
San Diego
Miami 3:25 PM
Denver
Washington 3:25 PM
San Francisco
Dallas 7:30 PM
NY Giants
NY Jets 11/24/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Baltimore 11/24/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Memphis
Portland 5:00 PM
Boston
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Miami
Golden State 6:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Denver 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
St. Louis 3:30 PM
Winnipeg
Montreal 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Arizona 7:00 PM
Anaheim
Chicago 8:30 PM
Vancouver
Coll of Charleston 37 2nd Half
George Mason 34
Massachusetts 19 1st Half 8:31
Florida State 21
Youngstown St 24 1st Half 7:38
UNC Greensboro 17
Wofford 19 1st Half 5:39
Sam Houston St 15
Ark-Pine Bluff 11:30 AM
Central Mich
Southern Ill 12:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
Drexel 12:30 PM
Cornell
American Univ 12:30 PM
Morehead State
CS-Northridge 1:00 PM
Ark-Little Rock
Bethune-Cookman 1:00 PM
Central Conn St
South Dakota 1:00 PM
Fairfield
Columbia 1:00 PM
Lehigh
Texas A&M 1:00 PM
New Mexico
TX A&M-CC 1:00 PM
Saint Louis
Merchant Marine 1:00 PM
Stony Brook
Longwood 1:30 PM
Eastern Mich
Providence 1:30 PM
Notre Dame
Jackson State 2:00 PM
UAB
Coppin State 2:00 PM
Denver
Northwestern St 2:00 PM
Oklahoma
Catawba 2:00 PM
Radford
Newman 2:00 PM
Wichita State
Yale 2:30 PM
Kent State
USC 2:30 PM
Penn State
St Katherine 3:00 PM
UC Riverside
NC Central 3:00 PM
Creighton
South Florida 3:00 PM
NC State
Nichols College 3:05 PM
Holy Cross
Dayton 3:30 PM
Boston College
Wagner 3:30 PM
Hofstra
Towson 3:30 PM
Monmouth
UMKC 3:30 PM
Samford
NC A&T 4:00 PM
Bradley
Eastern Ill 4:00 PM
Cincinnati
Fla Atlantic 4:00 PM
Georgia
Presbyterian 4:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
St Francis-NY 4:00 PM
Rutgers
Binghamton 4:30 PM
Navy
USC Upstate 5:00 PM
UCF
UMass Lowell 5:00 PM
Fordham
Montana State 5:00 PM
Kentucky
Iona 5:00 PM
North Texas
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Seton Hall
Akron 5:30 PM
South Carolina
Connecticut 5:30 PM
West Virginia
Hood College 6:00 PM
Howard
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Tennessee St 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Delaware 6:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Mercer 7:00 PM
Colorado State
SD Christian 7:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Northern Ariz 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Manhattan 7:00 PM
Northeastern
Pacific 7:00 PM
Washington
Miami-Florida 8:00 PM
Charlotte
Old Dominion 8:00 PM
Illinois State
UC Irvine 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Long Beach State 9:00 PM
UCLA
Montana 9:30 PM
Seattle
Kent State 0 Cancelled
Buffalo 0
Texas-El Paso 13 FINAL
Rice 31
Air Force 14 FINAL
San Diego St 30
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Utah State 41
Char Southern 9 FINAL
(9) Georgia 55
South Alabama 12 FINAL
So Carolina 37
Rutgers 3 FINAL
(10) Michigan State 45
Minnesota 28 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 24
Northwestern 38 FINAL
Purdue 14
(18) Marshall 23 FINAL
UAB 18
Kansas 7 FINAL
(23) Oklahoma 44
Indiana 27 FINAL
(7) Ohio State 42
Penn State 14 FINAL
Illinois 16
(16) Eastern Ky 3 FINAL
Florida 52
TX-San Antonio 7 FINAL
Western Ky 45
SMU 7 FINAL
UCF 53
Tulsa 28 FINAL
Houston 38
Virginia Tech 3 FINAL
Wake Forest 6
Washington St 31 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 52
Louisiana Tech 27 FINAL
Old Dominion 30
Western Mich 32 FINAL
Central Mich 20
New Mexico 20 FINAL
(22) Colorado State 58
Eastern Mich 30 FINAL
Ball State 45
Appalachian St 35 FINAL
Louisiana 16
(15) Arizona 42 FINAL
(20) Utah 10
FIU 14 FINAL
North Texas 17
(8) Ole Miss 0 FINAL
Arkansas 30
Louisville 31 FINAL
Notre Dame 28
Maryland 23 FINAL
Michigan 16
Texas Tech 34 FINAL
Iowa State 31
(14) Wisconsin 26 FINAL
Iowa 24
Syracuse 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
Boston College 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 20
Georgia State 0 FINAL
Clemson 28
Tulane 6 FINAL
East Carolina 34
Stanford 38 FINAL
California 17
Western Carolina 14 FINAL
(2) Alabama 48
ULM 30 FINAL
New Mexico St 17
So Florida 20 FINAL
Memphis 31
Colorado 10 FINAL
(3) Oregon 44
Fla Atlantic 34 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 35
Samford 7 FINAL
(16) Auburn 31
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Virginia 30
Vanderbilt 0 FINAL
(4) Miss State 51
(19) Missouri 29 FINAL
Tennessee 21
Oklahoma State 28 FINAL
(6) Baylor 49
(24) USC 20 FINAL
(11) UCLA 38
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
Connecticut 0
Boise State 63 FINAL
Wyoming 14
Oregon State 13 FINAL
Washington 37
Fresno State 40 FINAL
Nevada 20
UNLV 35 FINAL
Hawaii 37
Ohio U 11/25/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(5) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
(21) Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(18) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(19) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(15) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(11) UCLA
(22) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(17) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(9) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
(20) Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(8) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(24) USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(6) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(12) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
(25) Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(16) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
New England 12:30 PM
Red Bull New York
Seattle 4:00 PM
Los Angeles
Montreal 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 3:30 PM
Calgary
Alabama 11:30 AM
Temple
Massachusetts 12:00 PM
Florida State
Creighton 12:00 PM
(1) Connecticut
Bryant 12:00 PM
Boston College
Robert Morris 12:00 PM
UMBC
Sacred Heart 12:00 PM
Maine
Virginia Tech 12:00 PM
Providence
Coll of Charleston 1:00 PM
George Mason
Hartford 1:00 PM
Lafayette
William & Mary 1:00 PM
High Point
Western Ill 1:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Pittsburgh 1:00 PM
James Madison
Toledo 1:00 PM
(24) Purdue
Western Mich 1:00 PM
Michigan
Cleveland State 1:00 PM
FIU
San Diego State 1:00 PM
(2) South Carolina
Mount St Marys 1:00 PM
Davidson
IUPUI 1:00 PM
(15) Michigan State
Illinois State 1:00 PM
Colorado State
Incarnate Word 1:00 PM
Indiana
Cincinnati 1:00 PM
Iowa State
Furman 1:00 PM
Clemson
VA Commonwealth 1:00 PM
Ohio State
Marquette 1:00 PM
(7) Duke
Bethune-Cookman 1:00 PM
East Carolina
Coppin State 1:00 PM
Wake Forest
(24) Georgia 1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Ball State 1:00 PM
(12) Louisville
Auburn 1:00 PM
Virginia
Utah 1:00 PM
(16) Nebraska
Minnesota 2:00 PM
Memphis
Georgetown 2:00 PM
Kansas
Northwestern St 2:00 PM
Arkansas
TX-San Antonio 2:00 PM
Lamar
Southern Miss 2:00 PM
McNeese State
Air Force 2:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
IUPU-Ft Wayne 2:00 PM
USC Upstate
Morgan State 2:00 PM
Texas Tech
Western Ky 2:00 PM
Miss State
Southern U 2:00 PM
Illinois
Eastern Illinois 2:00 PM
North Texas
Alabama State 2:05 PM
South Alabama
Wisconsin 2:05 PM
Drake
Seattle 3:00 PM
Montana State
UC Santa Barbara 3:00 PM
Northern Ariz
Hofstra 3:00 PM
Norfolk State
Iona 3:00 PM
Pacific
Middle Tennessee 3:00 PM
Ole Miss
Portland 3:00 PM
Cal Poly
(10) Texas 3:00 PM
UCLA
Fresno State 4:00 PM
USC
Ave Maria 4:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Holy Cross 4:00 PM
(3) Notre Dame
Chicago State 5:00 PM
Oakland
(11) North Carolina 5:00 PM
Oregon
Harvard 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Princeton 6:00 PM
American Univ
Missouri 8:30 PM
(14) California
Yale 9:30 PM
Washington
UNLV 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do against the Packers?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close