Metrodome Demolition Takes Down Concrete Ring

Updated: 02/23/2014 6:17 PM By: Megan Stewart

The concrete ring beam around the upper part of the Metrodome came down Sunday with use of controlled explosive charges.
The concrete ring beam around the upper part of the Metrodome came down Sunday with use of controlled explosive charges.
Photo: Photo: KSTP/File

Road closures, vibration, dust and noise hit downtown Minneapolis Sunday morning due to the demolition of the Metrodome’s final ring beam.

The concrete ring beam came down with use of controlled explosive charges. Structural and demolition experts revised the original demolition plan after a section of the ring beam collapsed on Monday out of sequence. The team determined that explosives were the safest way to demolish the last portion of the beam.

"It was a complete success, it's laying on the ground, that's mission accomplished," said John Wood, Senior Vice President, Mortenson Construction.

Now that the dust has settled, Mortenson Construction is working to come up with a back-up plan to demolish the rest of the dome.

"We think this will be the last use of explosives in the demolition process, from this point forward it should be a pretty conventional approach," said Wood.

The ring beam and corners of the Metrodome were brought down with 84 charges of dynamite set in 24 columns of the upper concourse, according to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.

Neighbors experienced vibration, dust, and noise during and after the explosion, but experts said debris fell within the safety zone. The public was kept away from the area 250 feet from the Metrodome during the explosion.

"Just went through your entire body, I felt it from my feet on up. Almost threw you back a little bit," said Danny Walter, Minneapolis Resident.

"It was louder than you expected and it was kind of like, boom," said Anastasia Walter, Minneapolis Resident.

"I felt it, it was so loud you literally felt it," said Joe Robbinson, St. Paul Resident.

It took 11 seconds to go down, knowing it'll take two years to put the replacement stadium up.

Mortenson Construction says they are still on schedule, and even though they need to come up with a new plan, the process is not delayed. They expect the entirety of the Metrodome will be gone by the end of April.The new stadium, which will be the home to the Minnesota Vikings and many high school and college sporting and community events, remains on schedule to open in July of 2016.

Watch raw video of the demolition here.