Pace Of Paving Picks Up At COTA
An intensive paving process required to prepare Circuit of The America’s road-course and entire facility for the inaugural 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix is under way at the facility in Austin, Texas.
The final paving project involves the 3.4-mile natural terrain course, venue access and service roads and walkways around the property in anticipation of the F1 weekend Nov. 16-18. COTA will play host to the return of F1 to the United States for the first time in five years this fall.
“This is an exciting milestone in our construction process, and will help us quickly transform Circuit of The Americas from a construction site into a working sports and entertainment facility,” said Julie Loignon, Circuit vice president of public and community relations. “Our paving team, which is comprised of Austin Commercial, Tilke GmbH and a variety of subcontractors, has extensive experience in projects requiring this extreme level of detail. We’re confident the end result will be a Grade 1 racetrack that puts Austin on the world motorsports map.”
Defined as “echelon paving,” the process involves three to four paving machines moving in unison along the racetrack surface to ensure a uniform, seamless top layer of asphalt. The process and equipment are considered to be highly specialized. One particular instance in which this paving machine is being used is in Central Texas to pave the State Highway 130 extension.
But the pavement material at COTA has a unique composition compared to that used for public roadways. It is required to be highly skid-resistant for the type of vehicles that will be using the track, as well as the high speeds those cars will attain. The composition ensures consistency of texture, smoothness of ride and conformance to specifications outlined by the governing Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). Approximately 10,500 tons of hot mix asphalt will be used to pave the track.
Here are key facts on the paving process underway at COTA:
_ The layers of pavement are unique in that each is composed of a different combination of materials, or aggregates, sourced locally from Central Texas. The closer to the surface a layer is the higher percentage of bitumen _ a material used for paving _ it contains. The layers are comprised of 3.1 inches of base course, 2 inches of binder course and 1.6-inches of wearing course.
_ Cure time between layers can vary with the construction schedule. It is typical to have at least a day or two between the addition of different layers, but it is permissible to have even longer periods to fit the access requirements for construction. It is desirable to have the shorter period between the final two layers, minimizing the amount of surface cleaning between layers.
_ Cleaning the track prior to paving each layer will require use of power brooms to remove the majority of heavy dirt. Any material stuck to the track may require removal by scraping the surface with a shovel or blade. This may be followed by use of sprayed water from a truck and possibly a vacuum truck as well. Blowers will be used in some areas where larger equipment cannot access.
_ The paving process takes approximately seven to 12 days per layer, depending upon the overall construction schedule. Between the base course and binder course installations, many other safety features must be put in place. This takes a certain amount of time between the two layers.
_ The paving machine is unique in that it paves with attention to detail throughout the process. This machine currently is being used on the State Highway 130 project south of COTA, to a limited degree on other highway projects and on various racetracks. Each machine takes three workers to operate. Three to four paving machines pave in unison in an “echelon” formation.
_ Approximately 60 workers will be dedicated to the paving process on-site.
Located in southeast Travis County, COTA will be a world-class destination for performance, entertainment, education and business. It will be the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States designed for any and all classes of racing, from motor power to human power and be home to the USGP and Australian V-8 Supercars.
A limited number of three-day reserved grandstand bleacher seats remain available for purchase online at www.cotausgp.com or via the Ticketmaster hotline at 800.745.3000. Additionally, VIP seats with personal seat licenses are available in select areas and can be purchased by contacting a member of the Circuit’s sales team at 512.301.6600. Sales representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (CDT).No Comment