More improvements underway at The Glen The sound of engines roaring can be heard throughout Watkins Glen International these days but instead of stock cars, sports cars, or open-wheel cars making the noise, the sources are dump trucks, cement trucks, and bulldozers. Several projects are currently underway at multiple locations making The Soul of American Road Racing a very, very busy place. The new construction includes two new RV dumping stations, expanding the walkway leading from Gate 2 to the East Tunnel, and changes to several turns that were previously announced in January 2010.
The decision to add the RV dumping stations and expand the walkway came largely from fan feedback. WGI has long asked its fans to share their thoughts and opinions which has helped guide some of the improvements made throughout the legendary road course over the last several seasons. This year fans will find one of the new RV dumping stations next to the bathrooms just outside the West Tunnel as they head towards Gate 6 and the other in the middle of Gate 7 camping. The new stations are being built by Beaver Dams, NY-based R.L. Callahan Inc. and have already been attached to the sewer system with concrete foundations for each currently being poured. Once the stations are finished they, along with the one located outside the East Tunnel that was completed in 2005, will provide fans with three options for clearing their RV storage tanks before the leave the facility following an event weekend.
The road between Gate 2 and the East Tunnel is currently closed because an earth mover is covering newly installed drainage pipes that run the length of it. The gravel and dirt being backfilled over the new drainage will be leveled-off shortly in preparation for adding 10 ft of pavement to increase the width of the road. Prior to the installation of the expanded sidewalk, this area was often very congested during event weekends with the mixture of car and foot traffic. The new 10 ft of space will provide plenty of room for vehicles and fans to use the road safely and easily both entering and exiting the facility.
While there is plenty of work being completed on the infield, the majority of the construction is taking place on the track itself and is being handled by Dansville, NY-based Genesee Construction Services Inc. The areas surrounding the Inner Loop, Turn 10, Turn 11, and The Carousel all look more like standard construction sites than turns for a world-renowned road course. The tire barriers that once lined the inside (driver’s right) of the Inner Loop or “bus stop” have already been removed as has all of the gravel that filled the trap between the racing surface and retaining wall. A new concrete wall is being poured to replace the old tire barriers and once it sets then a new SAFER barrier will be hung from it. Fresh asphalt is scheduled to be laid next week to fully pave-over the old gravel trap.
The construction in The Carousel is moving just as quickly as in the Inner Loop and it looks just as different. The tire barriers and guardrail that were located on driver’s left as they exited The Carousel onto the short straight have been removed. Dirt and gravel have been brought in to level-off the ground to allow a new run-off area to be paved and 400 ft of new curbing has also been added along the edge of the turn. The guardrail will be replaced in the coming weeks but will be located farther from the track and be lined with large trashcans filled with sand much like the ones currently in use at the entrance of pit road.
The work completed thus far in Turns 10 and 11 is not as extensive as in the Inner Loop or The Carousel but they are still full of activity. Half of the gravel trap in Turn 10 has been removed and the remaining dirt is being packed and leveled to allow for paving to begin next week. The curbing that was already in place has been extended by approximately 350 ft. The tire barriers in Turn 11 have been removed and preparations are being made to pour the foundation for the cement wall that will be used to hang the new SAFER barrier.
Tickets for the entire 2010 season including the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen, August 5-8, and Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen, July 2-4, weekends are on sale now! Fans can take advantage of advanced sale prices and new options by calling the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or logging on to the official website, www.TheGlen.com. Tickets, gift certificates and track merchandise can all be purchased at The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen. The Shop is open Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4, and is closed Sunday.