LeJeune Steel recently celebrated raising one of the last steel roof beams at the U.S. Bank Stadium, new home of the Minnesota Vikings NFL team. Placed above the 50-yard line, the beam displays the signatures of many LeJeune employees and those of steel erector Danny's Construction made at the September 17, 2015 "topping out" ceremony at the downtown Minneapolis construction site.
"The topping-out celebration is part of every steel project that we do and includes raising a Douglas-fir tree in Northern European tradition and an American flag," said Rick Torborg, LeJeune project manager. While a thunderstorm postponed the actual raising of the beam until the following day, enthusiasm wasn't lost on attendees who included representatives from general contractor Mortenson Construction, the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.
The event marked the end of a significant portion of LeJeune's work at the site. "It was gratifying to receive recognition for our work. During the ceremony, John Wood, senior vice president at Mortenson Construction, noted the high quality of the steel fabrication greatly contributed to meeting this milestone," Torborg said.
LeJeune is ahead of schedule on the project and by late September had delivered its final steel order to the job site from APi Group company WSSCO (Wisconsin Structural Steel Co.) fabricators. Torborg credits Brian Blair, vice president of estimating and project management at LeJeune, as key to getting the project up and running. "Production managers Josh Barton at WSSCO and Todd Flicek at LeJeune were integral in developing our shops' fabrication processes to ensure the steel was delivered on time," Torborg said.
The $95 million contract marks LeJeune's largest project to date. The 71-year-old company has contributed to such local giants as IKEA, Mall of America, TCF Bank Stadium and Target Field. "LeJeune wasn't awarded the U.S. Bank Stadium contract on economics alone. Our established history of working collaboratively with clients, developing a professional, dedicated workforce and providing timely, high quality steel fabrication played a significant role in the selection process," Torborg said, adding, "These same qualities and relationships will continue to open doors to greater and more complex projects."
Over the next several weeks, LeJeune's work will focus on final lockdown welding before it wraps up onsite work by late November 2015. The stadium opens next summer, just in time for the 2016 football season.
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