MNDOT checks out a city lot

MNDOT excavation Evidently MNDOT has hired Pro Source Construction ProSource Technologies to check out the City of Northfield’s empty lot next to the City’s maintenance facility on Riverview Drive. I took this photo of an excavator finishing up last night after it had dug up quite a bit of the lot over the past two days. Why? To see if there’s nasty stuff that’s been dumped there over the years. I don’t know what they found but I’ll see what I can find out.

MNDOT is looking at alternatives for its sand/salt lot/facility at the corner of Woodley and Hwy 3, a site that the City might want for a new safety center.

Update 2/26, 11:30 am: I took these photos (below) this morning. Looks like they’ve unearthed old pipes, asphalt, concrete… and not too far down, the water table. (continued)


MNDOT excavation  MNDOT excavation


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    I got this email from Brian Erickson, Public Works Operations Engineer with the City of Northfield:

    I talked to one of MnDOT’s employees regarding this excavation and he stated they are investigating the site to see if any environmental contamination is present.  This is in preparation for a possible purchase of the site to relocate their facility from Woodley and Highway 3.  By performing this prior to purchase they know if there are any issues that may need to be remediated.  In addition they have performed some engineering investigation that could be used in the design of a new facility.  This work is being performed by an independent testing lab and they have also performed some investigation at the Woodley and Highway 3 site.  There is nothing on the City website because this is a MnDOT project and they are pursuing the investigation.

    February 25, 2009
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    I took two more excavation photos this morning and added them above. Looks like they’ve unearthed old pipes, asphalt, concrete… and not too far down, the water table.

    Should that stuff have been dumped and buried there?

    February 26, 2009
  3. Ray Cox said:

    Griff…good pictures. The stuff they were hauling up yesterday is exactly the reason you want to do this kind of preliminary work. It is a bit unusual to see such extensive excavation, but as you can see from some of the junk being hauled up, it is wise to do this. Often times a site will be drilled to see what the soils are like. If you drill say 6 locations you just might happen to miss a lot of this and think the soils are good, when they are not.

    A building typically cannot sit on unstable soils. Non-structural fill is not stable. The voids caused by jumbled up concrete, bricks, tiles, pipes, etc. will not uniformly support the weight of a building. So, by checking MnDot can determine just how much soil correction work is needed and then set their price for the land.

    February 27, 2009

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