Metrodome roof project nears completion

July, 13, 2011
7/13/11
12:27
PM ET
MetrodomeAP Photo/Jim MoneThe Metrodome roof, damaged in a December snowstorm, was successfully inflated on Wednesday.
I will not use the phrase "raise the roof." I will not use the phrase "raise the roof." I will not use the phrase "raise the roof." I will not use the phrase "raise the roof." I will not use the phrase "raise the roof." I will not use the phrase "raise the roof." I will not use the phrase "raise the roof." I will not use the phrase "raise the roof." I will not use the phrase "raise the roof." I will not use the phrase "raise the roof."

Sorry. I'm overdosed on "The Simpsons" episodes.

Anyway, as you can see, construction workers Wednesday morning successfully inflated the newly installed roof at the Metrodome. The event ushered in the final stages of a $23 million project to replace the building's original roof, which was destroyed during a December snowstorm. The costs were covered by insurance.

It includes some new features, among them panels to improve acoustics and more transparency for maximum sunlight. But the most important news is the building remains on track to open when the Vikings are scheduled for their first preseason home game on Aug. 27.

The photo above also shows workers removing plywood from the playing surface. One of the biggest remaining tasks of the project is to evaluate the surface, which was installed last summer, to see if it is playable or needs to be replaced again. If so, that $600,000 project would begin next month.

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