A leaky ship? Panel work to begin on U.S. Bank Stadium

After only one year of operation, major rehab work will begin Monday on U.S. Bank Stadium. 

The work should last 12 weeks and is not expected to interfere with the U2 concert in September or Vikings games.

There are 40,000 metal panels on the exterior of the stadium, and the work will involve about 3,000 of those panels located on the northwest elevation and the prow. Those are areas most exposed to severe weather. 

Some of the panels have become loose and are allowing water to seep into the stadium interior. 

Crews with Mortenson Construction and M.G. McGrath will be removing the panels one at a time, putting in an additional water barrier and a heat track to melt ice that can build up. They will also be adding additional fasteners to the panels.

In a statement John Wood, senior vice-president of Mortenson, said the area to be fixed is "not performing as intended and where design and construction enhancements need to be made."

The majority of the cost is expected to be picked up by Mortenson and McGrath and not taxpayers.

"I feel very positive about this," said Kathleen Blatz, interim chair of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority, which manages U.S. Bank Stadium. She said the process between the construction firms and a half-dozen engineering consultants had been "very collaborative."

"I wish we didn't have these issues. But as far as safety and permanency, I'm not worried about it," Blatz said. "I know it will be fixed and fixed right and taxpayers will be protected."

Statement from John Wood, senior vice president of Mortenson:

“U.S. Bank Stadium has completed its first year of operation. During this time, Mortenson has worked closely with the MSFA to monitor aspects of the building’s performance. As previously communicated, there is a limited area of the stadium’s exterior enclosure – less than 10 percent – that is not performing as intended and where design and construction enhancements need to be made.

"Mortenson and M.G. McGrath, one of the trade contractors responsible for the exterior enclosure, are making these necessary enhancements. Work will begin on Monday, July 24, and will be targeted at specific locations and primarily involve the façade on the northwest elevation, which includes the prow of the building. This is the part of the building that is exposed to the impact of severe weather and has been affected by strong wind and heavy rain in the past.

"We will be completing specific design enhancements to the weather barrier that have been deemed necessary by the project architects. We are also reinforcing the enclosure’s fastening system in certain areas of the building, as recommended by the engineering team, to alleviate any potential performance concerns. The work requires the temporary removal of the enclosure’s metal panels in certain limited areas while enhancements are made, and will be noticeable.

"Mortenson stands behind its projects to make certain the facilities we build are operating as required and meet our customers’ expectations. This work is weather dependent and will take several weeks to complete. It will not disrupt any events or activities scheduled at U.S. Bank Stadium."