MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Cold weather isn’t stopping work on the new Vikings stadium.

The project hasn’t missed a beat since cold weather invaded the area earlier than usual.

In fact, Mortenson Construction added 10 percent to its workforce because of the cold.

Those workers build enclosures to help keep the cold away.

It’s hard to believe 11 months ago the Vikings played a game right inside the now demolished Metrodome.

Since then, construction has been going on to build the new stadium. But cold weather came to Minnesota bit earlier than expected.

Snow, ice and cold temperatures are not enough to stop workers at the new Vikings stadium construction site from making deadlines.

“This is what we do. We’re from here. We live here. We understand it,” Dave Mansell said.

Dave Mansell is Mortenson Construction’s General Superintendent for the project.

He says when it gets really cold, his team moves to an enclosed space.

“We have some of the stuff below the main concourse where we’ve gotten enclosures, and we’re actually temporarily heating some areas where we are working on interior finishing stuff. So, we heat those up and keep them warm all winter,” Mansell said.

Mansell says the colder weather makes it harder for them to do their job, so his team actually works longer hours when it gets cold.

In by 7 a.m. out by 10 p.m., these workers know how to dress to get the job done.

“I’ve got Under Amour base layer, a T-shirt, a long sleeved shirt and a sweat shirt. And then my coat,” construction worker Dan Fox said.

The higher up you go, the winder and colder it gets.

“It gets difficult. Hardest part is keeping your hands and feet warm,” Fox said.

Mortenson’s additional workers also built warming houses where his team can eat lunch or hang up wet clothes.

They also have to make sure all the concrete used is kept at a certain temperature.

“We use hot water. We use add mixtures in the concrete that keeps it from freezing. We build temporary enclosures. We use Tiaga heaters, a local firm here, that we temporary heat underneath the vent to keep it warm,” Mansell said.

There are cut-offs, times when it is too cold for this type of work.

“Ironworkers it’s ten below zero. Carpenters is 20 below, 25 below wind chills; 15 below for iron workers. They are always up high you know,” Mansell said.

Each worker goes through lots of cold weather training and education.

Mortenson also has plenty of people on site just watching to make sure crew members are being safe in the cold.

Reg Chapman

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