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DATE News (chronologically)
08/14/10
track news
DIS paving hits snag  The winning streak could not last forever. The repaving of Daytona International Speedway's famous 2.5-mile tri-oval hit a minor snag Wednesday after heavy showers washed away some of the exposed lime rock base in Turns 3 and 4.

"It's no big deal," project manager Bill Braniff said Thursday. "We'll go back, re-grade it and repack it again. We expect things like that to happen, and it underscores the importance of not removing the old asphalt in Turns 1 and 2."

"We've been lucky with the weather so far, so we don't have any room to complain. Over in Turns 3 and 4, we just need to dress it back up where the water eroded the base."

Up until Wednesday's weather situation, the paving project has been nearly flawless.

In the last week, Lane Construction has laid three layers of asphalt over the entire length of the tri-oval and backstretch, started to grade the backstretch skid pad extension and pulled up asphalt along pit road. The pit road project is in focus right now.

The 1,900-foot straightaway, which runs parallel to the tri-oval area, is being milled and widened.

Lane Construction, the lead contractor on the repave project, ripped out a strip of asphalt that runs next to pit wall, a process that will continue until 18 feet of blacktop is removed.

Braniff said at that point, the asphalt in the pit-box area, or surface closest to the pit wall, will be replaced with a six-inch slab of steel-reinforced concrete. Once the concrete is in place, Lane Construction will excavate the remaining asphalt and widen pit road by 10 feet.

"Right now it is 52 feet from the pit wall to the grass," Braniff said.

"Once we make these improvements, pit road will be 62-feet wide."

The pit-road widening is being done at the behest of NASCAR, which sanctions Daytona's major stock-car events. Braniff said the widening will give competitors more elbow room to enter and exit the service alley. Braniff said the joint between the concrete and new asphalt will eventually require repair from wear.

"It's similar to what you see in a city roadway, where the street meets the gutter," he said. Braniff says the project is on schedule, or as he says, "Schedule-wise, we are looking good."

The project started on July 5. Braniff and the pavers have until Dec. 31 to finish the job. "If you project out the progress we've made thus far and extrapolate that into an end date, that's where it becomes dangerous," he said. "We have made good progress. However, the real heavy lifting is still to come and that's paving on those 31-degree banks.

"We've been picking the low-hanging fruit to this point by getting the frontstretch and backstretch done. Once you get the high-banks paved, that's when you can start talking about a completion date." Daytona Beach News Journal
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