Leveling the Playing Field

by Michael M. Heuer, (M.ASCE), Senior Proj. Engr.; Braun Engineering Testing, Inc., Minneapolis, MN,
James D. Roed, Vice Pres./Structural Engr.; Erickson Roed/Johnston Sahlman, Minneapolis, MN,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 11, Pg. 50-53

Document Type: Feature article


As professional sports grow, so does the market for elaborate multi-use sports arenas. The new Target Center in Minneapolis features a unique movable floor, 68 luxury suites and a state-of-the-art health club and multiple foundation types. A fast tracked construction schedule guaranteed its opening before the start of the 1990-91 basketball season. Area geology maps showed that the northwest corner of the site extended into a preglacial river channel. In the center of the channel, glacial waters had eroded the limestone cap, the underlying shale and cut deep into the sandstone. The maps showed the bottom was some 200 to 300 feet below surface grade. Within the bounds of the site, the channel bottom was estimated at about 135 feet below the surface. Soil borings and rock core samples defined three distinct soil and bedrock profiles. Most of the site consisted of 20 to 30 feet of sands with layers of clay over limestone bedrock. The variable soil conditions were not suitable for a single foundation design. Rather, three different foundation types were required.

Subject Headings: Foundation design | Channels (waterway) | Mapping | Limestone | Layered soils | Bedrock | Soil properties

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