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That Vikings stadium ground is already looking kind of broken

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The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority's chairwoman, Michele Kelm-Helgen, said this week that her agency still hopes to break ground on the new Vikings stadium in November. The construction is supposed to kick off days after the Vikings sign on the dotted line for their $477 million part of the stadium cost.

But the site for the new stadium is already looking, well, a little worked on.

Crews from Bolander & Sons are driving piles along 4th Street just east of 11th Avenue. Here's what it looked like this week.

digging
Although the official groundbreaking is in November, the digging has already started for the new Vikings stadium. Crews are preparing to relocate a power line under the Metrodome's parking lot to make room for the construction. MPR Photo/Tim Nelson

Kelm-Helgen says crews have taken out a small portion of the parking lot to install sheet piling along an existing Xcel Energy duct bank, to keep an underground electrical line in place when demolition starts on the existing 4th Street retaining walls. The line runs underground through the Metrodome's parking lot. Xcel's is planning a new high-energy line to serve downtown that will run through new duct work along 4th Street.

Company spokesman Tom Hoen says that work is scheduled to start the week of Sept. 16.

And no, Kelm-Helgen says, this is NOT a stadium groundbreaking.