St. Paul Saints ballpark costs jump millions for soil cleanup

8:26 AM, Jun 13, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PAUL - Just weeks before an old warehouse in St. Paul's Lowertown is demolished to make way for a St. Paul Saints stadium, new tests show the ground beneath it has big problems.

City leaders knew they would find some issues with the soil, expecting about eight feet of pollution. In some parts they instead found 20 feet.

"We were able to understand the full extent of what we have to deal with," said St. Paul Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hahm. "And it's a worse condition than we had anticipated."

More contamination means more money for clean up. It'll cost another $6.2 million to fix soil problems, move a Fifth Street sewer line and clear underground debris.

"We have to take sites like Diamond Products and Midway Stadium on when they're small enough and scalable," said Louis Jambois of the St. Paul Port Authority, saying the pollution's size makes it manageable.

Project leaders say the missing money is also scalable. They sent a letter today telling the mayor and city council they also need an extra $2.6 million to build the 7,000 seat stadium the way it was designed. They plan to ask the Metropolitan Council, Ramsey County and the team for at least some of the money, confident they can find it--and fast.



"Time is of the essence," said Jambois. "But we know how to move quickly."

Crews will not only have to clean up at the new ballpark, but at the old site as well. It'll probably cost between $3 and $7 million  to demolish and clear the Midway Stadium site.

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