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Mortenson seeks mediation over Vikings stadium change orders

M.A. Mortenson Co. is headed to mediation with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to resolve a dispute over $15 million in cost overruns tied to the Minnesota Vikings stadium project.

The Golden Valley-based construction giant also filed to proceed with arbitration if the two aren’t able to smooth out their differences. The moves match dispute-resolution procedures outlined in the stadium construction contract.

“While there has been continuous willingness to discuss these disputed costs, we have not yet been able to reach agreement,” the stadium authority said in a statement Thursday evening.

Both parties contend they are not responsible for change orders that pumped up the U.S. Bank Stadium’s price tag. The original project cost hovered just below the $1 billion mark, but extra features – mostly covered by the Vikings ownership – have since pushed that figure past $1.08 billion.

“These change orders involve changed or extra work that was directed by the MSFA and completed by Mortenson and our subcontractors during the past year,” Mortenson Senior Vice President John Wood said in a statement.

Wood said the parties have been “unable to resolve this through negotiation.”

Mortenson has submitted a “formal Demand for Arbitration through the American Arbitration Association,” he added. “This submission follows the dispute-resolution process required by our contract with the MSFA. This process requires a first step of mandatory mediation prior to the start of arbitration.”

The stadium project agreement includes a $29.7 million built-in contingency, the MSFA said in its statement.

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