Vegas track construction beginsUPDATE Added photos from first night of construction below.
03/02/07 One of the largest events to ever come to downtown Las Vegas took another big step Thursday, March 1, when cornerstone track barricades were set up at Bonneville Avenue and Grand Central Parkway for the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix.
The work signals another segment in construction of the 2.44-mile, 12-turn temporary street course, which winds in and around Glitter Gulch. Ten members of the Vegas Grand Prix construction crew were on hand to begin the process.
Dale Jensen and Bradley Yonover, owners of the Vegas Grand Prix; Jim Freudenberg, its president and chief executive officer; Champ Car racing star Paul Tracy; and circuit manager Chris Kneifel were all in attendance for the ceremonial event.
More than 2,700 12-foot long, 39-inch cement barriers will line the perimeter inside and outside the course. The barriers weigh about 9,000 pounds apiece and will all be connected.
During the next few weeks leading up to the race, crews will construct a 9-foot debris fence built specifically for motor racing around the course. A 12-foot post will hold two pieces of wall and two pieces of debris fence. All work will be done between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. to avoid peak drive times. Only one lane of two-lane streets will be closed at a time to limit traffic impacts.
In all, there will be 3,000 pieces of barricade wall, 3,000 pieces of debris fencing and 800 tire barriers, which consist of 25 bundled, interlocked tires.
“This is another step toward a wonderful event for downtown Las Vegas,” Freudenberg said. “We have a construction crew that is second to none putting the pieces together for the Vegas Grand Prix.”
Kneifel, who also spearheads construction of the Grand Prix Arizona and the San Jose Grand Prix, said the track has a little of everything for both fans and competitors.
“This track by and large is very generous in width, which will allow for some strategic passing,” Kneifel said. “It’ll have two different types of racetracks and will definitely have both high speed and slow speed racing. There’s a little bit of everything. It’ll be an exciting race.”
Other additions to the track will include grandstands, hospitality tents and pedestrian bridges.
Removal of the track components will begin once the event has been completed.
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