Metrodome construction nearing end

Construction of the new roof for the Metrodome is on schedule to be completed in three weeks by Aug. 1.

Right now 100 of the 106 panels for the new roof are in place and the dome roof is expected to be inflated for the first time in about a week, according to Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The old roof collapsed during a snow and ice storm in December, and the cost of replacing it has run about $18 million. The work will be done in time for the Minnesota Vikings to play their preseason home games. The club was forced to vacate the Metrodome for two regular-season games last season.

A pulic open house will be held Aug. 20 and the Vikings’ first game back in the building is set for Aug. 27 against the Dallas Cowboys, provided the NFL’s labor situation is resolved in time.

It’s not expected that the playing surface will need to be replaced. There was some question whether or not the construction would force the installation of a new field.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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