Crews reach key milestones in ballpark construction
POSTED: Monday, July 1, 2013 - 9:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 6:26am
EL PASO (KTSM) — Triple-A in El Paso is a year away. Crews were working to get the $60.8 million ballpark in downtown El Paso ready for play in Spring 2014.
There's a lot crews have done in the last few months, but there's much more ahead of them.
City Engineer Alan Shubert gave Newschannel 9 an exclusive tour of the busy construction site and while you can’t see much when you drive by, crews have already reached several key milestones in the construction.
"It's around the clock operations," said Shubert.
Workers have successfully cleared 25,000 tons of debris from the implosion of the former city hall back in April.
They’ve also completed construction of the retaining wall that will curve around the outfield.
"They drill back 40 feet into the ground, put these cables in there and wrap those in place and then they post tension so this is all tied back into the earth, it's not just driven down in the ground," said Shubert.
It may not look like much from street level and all you see is piles of dirt.
“A tremendous amount is going on now, between getting all the retaining walls put in, getting a mass extrication out. We have about 30,000 yards of dirt that we're moving out of the site right now," said Shubert.
Crews are using a 160 ton crane to bury piles of grout needed to stabilize the foundation.
"Those are drill piers where they pressure grout into the ground,” said Shubert. “We have more than 500 of these piles that are going into the ground right now and I think we're up to almost 300 of them in place."
That job is set to be finished early this month.
In the next few weeks, people will see a big difference at the ballpark construction site as crews will start pouring the concrete for its foundation.
"You'll start seeing from the street vertical construction," said Shubert.
That’s when the steel framework of the ballpark will start coming up by late August.
There’s a lot of work to do before the crack of the bat replaces the sounds of bulldozers, but Schubert said they’ve overcome some challenges.
"We started out with one of the most difficult sites I've ever really tried to manage between the railroad, the utilities and by coincidence having city hall right in the way,” said Shubert.
They’re on track for the team to play ball next Spring.
"The project is going beautifully, the design is going very well, the construction is going very well. It's going text book really," said Shubert.
In early June, El Paso City Representatives voted against a city manager's request for additional money for construction. The MountainStar Sports Group agreed to pay an additional $12.1 million.
We asked Schubert if the recent financial issue will be a set-back in construction. He said at this point it’s unclear. But, he did seem confident and said, “We’re in pretty good shape.”
If you want to track the construction online, see the latest design renderings or sign up for updates, visit http://www.elpasotriplea.com/ballpark.