South End Zone Construction Update
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com
January 28, 2002
Pictures of the South End Zone construction show that the lower decks have been completed, some lower-deck seats supports are in place, and construction on the upper deck supports has begun.
Last Monday, January 21st, TechSideline.com received an update from an engineer working on the project. The update read as follows (with clarifying edits and notes from TechSideline.com):
January 21 update:
The south stadium expansion is progressing nicely and is about on schedule if not a little ahead. The large structure sitting at the Southwest corner of the upper concourse is the form work for the first upper raker beam. About 50 cubic yards of concrete (100 tons) will be poured into these forms to create the upper portion of the superstructure that will support the upper deck seats. There will be 10 of these upper raker beams. The forms will be stripped once the concrete has achieved about 75 percent of full strength (approx. one week after pouring for each raker beam). That is when you will be able to see what the underneath of the upper stand supports will actually look like. The contractor thinks he can pour two of these a week.
Today (Monday, Jan. 21) was the first day of precast concrete placement. A huge crane arrived at the site on Friday (Jan. 18) and is now set up on the west side, picking up and lowering precast pieces into place. Initially, these pieces will include seats for the lower bowl and wall facing such as those you see on the sides of the existing grandstands. A second crane will arrive late this week or early next and it will set up on the east side. The center seat sections are too far and heavy for one crane to set completely on its own. Therefore, one crane will get these center seats as close as it can, and then the second crane will attach and the two together will lower the sections into place. They refer to this as "double-picking" and it should be pretty interesting. These cranes are tremendously large and are rated at about 350 to 400 tons. This is the weight they can lift straight up without the boom lowered. Once you start lowering the boom, the crane capacity goes down drastically as the moment associated with the weight and boom length increases exponentially.
Anyway, within a few weeks, I expect the lower seating will be in place (editor's note: the pictures below show that some seats are already in place) and a few upper raker beams will also probably be ready. It is possible that by the Spring Game (April 20th), even the upper seats will be in place!
End of update
This following set of photos, taken by TechSideline.com's Will Stewart on January 26th, 2002, shows the completed decks, lower-deck seat supports, and the first raker beam. For more details on Lane Stadium expansion, see TSL's Lane Stadium Expansion Page.