An international corporation selected Minneapolis for its medical technology world headquarters location after acquiring a 5.5-acre property based on the Minneapolis riverfront. As part of its due diligence in acquiring the property, the client conducted an initial environmental assessment which revealed an extensive industrial history, including past lumber/sawmill activities and a railroad yard.
The client retained Pinnacle Engineering to conduct a Phase II environmental assessment, which revealed that the fill previously placed on the property (up to 60 feet thick), was impacted with arsenic, lead, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and petroleum-related compounds, putting the fast-paced redevelopment plan at risk. The client had never chosen to expand on “brownfield” land and did not want the challenges of such a development to impact the project budget or timeframe. After consulting with corporate representatives, Pinnacle worked with the client to enroll the property in the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (VIC) program. Pinnacle conducted additional investigation to characterize the site risks and developed a Response Action Plan (RAP) for management of soils excavated for the redevelopment.
The client hired Pinnacle to manage the fast-track removal of all regulated materials prior to demolition of the existing buildings. This included removal of asbestos-containing materials, chemical disposal, and removal/disposal of fluorescent lights/ballasts, thermostats/switches, and oil-filled equipment. Pinnacle also managed all aspects of the site remediation during the redevelopment, including management/oversight of the earthwork contractor, confirmation sampling, reporting, and management of the approximately 1.5 million dollars in grant funding received for soil remediation. Finally, Pinnacle designed and oversaw the installation of a passive soil vapor barrier/vent system compatible with a deep pile foundation system, working closely with project engineers and architects to ensure that the vapor barrier was functional, but could be installed reasonably around the piling cap and structural grade beams.
Timely project work and close coordination with the MPCA VIC program allowed the project to continue on a fast track. Through coordination with the City of Minneapolis, Department of Employment and Economic Development, and Metropolitan Council, the client was also awarded grants to cover environmental investigation and soil cleanup costs at the site. The result of the project was the successful redevelopment of a former industrial brownfield to a community asset on the Mississippi River.