Twins ballpark site ready for first stage of construction

Updated: May 15, 2007, 2:09 PM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- The first clear sign of the beginning of construction on the Minnesota Twins' new ballpark will soon arrive on the downtown site: the dump trucks.

Clearing of the area has begun on the 10-acre parcel just west of Target Center, and portions of the site -- which has been a parking lot -- will be stripped to prepare for excavation.

Crews will begin hauling material out next Monday, said Dan Mehls, who is managing the project for M.A. Mortensen Company. Most of the concrete and asphalt will be recycled, he said.

On Tuesday, the Twins staged a mock diamond with home plate and the bases placed on their actual spots when the $522 million stadium opens for the 2010 season. The entire site has been fenced off for security.

"It's a start," Twins executive Jerry Bell said. "You have to begin someplace."

The site clearing is the first phase of the project. Third Avenue North will also be removed between Sixth and Seventh streets during this phase.

The official groundbreaking is scheduled for August, when a railroad line will also be relocated and the site will be excavated. During excavation, the site will be leveled 2 to 3 feet lower and eventually stabilized with gravel. Up to 100,000 cubic yards of material will be moved out.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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