Acres of manure under Twin Cities ballpark could be costly hassleWhen demolition specialists tear down St. Paul's Midway Stadium next year, they know what they'll find underground — acres and acres of horse manure.
By: Associated Press report, Associated Press
ST. PAUL — When demolition specialists tear down St. Paul's Midway Stadium next year, they know what they'll find underground: acres and acres of horse manure.
Before the stadium was built in the early 1980s, the land had been used for decades as a dumping ground for manure and other trash from the state fairgrounds. That could be a problem for the developers who end up building on that land, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.
Horse manure doesn't decompose into good dirt, said Louis Jambois, the president of the St. Paul Port Authority. That means it would have to be dug out or architects would have to design costly workarounds. Either way, that could add $3 million to $5 million to the overall price tag of redevelopment.
“So there's going to be a bunch of money invested. There's just no way around it,” Jambois said. “But when we're done, it's going to be quite a site.”
The Port Authority has developed a long swath of Energy Park Drive, bringing jobs and industry to St. Paul. Jambois said he's confident the current home of the St. Paul Saints baseball team will be no different.
Jambois’ organization has brokered a deal with the city to acquire the stadium and convert it for industrial use. Demolition would begin next year.
Jambois said there already is serious interest in the site, but it will still need some work. Preliminary environmental studies have uncovered evidence of dumped debris ranging from 4 to 21 feet underground. There also are high levels of methane gas.
The manure and debris would have to be dug out, if possible. Otherwise, construction crews would have to sink deep pillars through the old manure into bedrock, allowing future developers to build industrial facilities on top. That could add millions to the cost of development.
Jambois said he's hoping not to have to resort to that, but he hasn't ruled it out.