Environmental cleanup work complete at Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site

13 November 2015

Work to clean and clear the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) in Arden Hills – formerly the largest contaminated site in Minnesota – has been completed. The 427-acre site was cleaned to residential standards, and 93% of the materials removed from the site were recycled or reused in new roadways there and in other parts of the Twin Cities. This paves the way for the Rice Creek Commons development.

TCAAP bldg 502 demo_4

“When we decided to purchase the TCAAP site in 2013, our goal was to return this vacant property into the economic and social engine that it once was,” said Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega. “Completing the cleanup puts us one step closer to creating a vibrant development that will strengthen our community.”

“It is exciting to see the incredible progress being made in a part of our community that has been underutilized for far too long,” said Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman, who represents the area. “Rice Creek Commons represents an exciting opportunity to create jobs, development, and tax base that are good for Arden Hills and for the entire county.”

As a part of their work to clean the 427-acre site to residential standards, demolition and remediation contractor Carl Bolander & Sons removed more than 49 miles of material from the site, equivalent to 4.5 times the length of the Green Line. This includes:

  • Railroad track: 43,700 feet
  • Fencing: 39,000 feet
  • Steam/condensate ACM piping: 11,780 feet
  • Storm pipe: 38,600 feet
  • Sanitary pipe: 37,500 feet
  • Water main pipe: 48,600 feet
  • Gas main pipe: 42,000 feet

Additionally, crews removed and recycled more than 400,000 tons of concrete and asphalt. This is equivalent to the weight of four average passenger cruise ships.

Saint Paul-based Carl Bolander & Sons completed the demolition and environmental remediation work on time and on budget.

“We knew going into this project that it would be complex, but it has been incredibly rewarding to work on a project that will have such a great impact on our community,” said Mark Ryan, president of Carl Bolander & Sons.

The county is now working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) through its Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (VIC) program and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to verify the work. The county will then request that the MPCA and EPA delist the site as a Superfund for soil contamination in 2016. While the county awaits verification from the MPCA and EPA, staff will continue work to reconstruct the County Road H/I-35W interchange, remeander Rice Creek to its original route, and clean land that the county will acquire to build a bike and pedestrian trail segment.

About Rice Creek Commons

Rice Creek Commons is a 427-acre development at the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills. In April 2013, Ramsey County purchased the site, which was the largest superfund site in the state. Work to clean the site to residential standards will be verified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016. The redevelopment will include a mix of residential, commercial, and open spaces. When completed, the project will create thousands of jobs and generate millions of dollars annually in county and state property taxes. More information is available at RiceCreekCommons.com.