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Copyright 2017 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Troubles at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis - including zinc metal panels that are coming loose - should not cause concern about the new Milwaukee Bucks arena, an executive for the construction company for both projects says.

"U.S. Bank Stadium features a custom-designed exterior enclosure that is fundamentally different from what is designed and specified for the Milwaukee Bucks arena," said a statement issued by Derek Cunz, senior vice president of Mortenson Construction.

Mortenson is the construction manager for the $524 million Bucks arena that's being built just north of the Bradley Center in downtown Milwaukee. The company was the general contractor on the $1.1 billion home for the Minnesota Vikings, which opened last fall in Minneapolis.

Last week the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that "leaky walls and loose panels remain a concern without definitive agreement on the extent of the problem or the proper repairs." The report said the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is having the exterior of the building, which is covered by zinc panels, tested and studied by engineers and metallurgists. Some of the panels were seen flapping in high winds last year, and in December several blew off the building, the Star Tribune reported.

From ABLeaks, Loose Panels Prompt U.S. Bank Stadium Testing

The authority's Executive Director Rick Evans told the paper that the durability of the panels is a health and safety concern that is "at the top of my priority list."

Zinc panels are a key feature planned for the exterior of the Bucks arena, which is being built with $250 million in public money. Those panels stirred some of the most passionate debate over the design of the arena, with some detractors saying they would give the arena a "Rust Belt" feel. Project designers, however, said the zinc panels can take on the look of wood or leather and will change appearance in varying degrees of light.

Mortenson executive Cunz said zinc was the only thing in common between the Bucks arena and the Minnesota project.

"The only similarity is the metal panel material, which is a zinc alloy, however, the manufacturers of the panels are not the same," he said. "The insulation and waterproofing system behind the zinc panels as well as the enclosure's design, configuration, and fastening system are all different as well."

Cunz added: "The enclosure for the Bucks arena is based on industry-standard practices that have been utilized on countless projects across the country."

"Mortenson stands behind its projects and the work of our subcontractors to make certain the facilities we build operate as intended," Cunz said.

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May 4, 2017


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