LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s now a race, before the race, to finish construction: infrastructure work and financial negotiations remain ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix (LVGP) in six weeks.
The last of the racetrack surface is being laid along Koval Lane between E. Rochelle Avenue and Westchester Drive this week, with a closure of the Koval and Harmon Avenue intersection on Oct. 10 to connect the full track back to the starting line.
This follows nearly four miles of track lighting erected along the circuit in the past month. Grandstands are popping up swiftly across 11 different ticketed viewing areas. The last of three vehicle bridges that will provide internal access when the track is hot will be installed by the end of this month.
With the temporary structures in place, Terry Miller, LVGP project manager, says the streets now are transforming into “the cold track.” He referenced upcoming track barrier and safety fencing installation – which will take away some travel lanes until after the race – that will be placed along the circuit by the beginning of November.
But, some other timelines remain unknown to the public.
“What we’re doing now is the next wave. We are now developing the sequencing of how we take the track away,” Miller said to the Clark County Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning.
Commissioners, though applauding the recently improved communication with the racing giant, still question logistics.
Official transportation plans for the estimated 100,000 hospitality employees expected to work during the multi-day event have yet to be publicly released.
“On the west side of the boulevard, I know that’s not been priority number one, but it needs to be dealt with. I know those conversations are happening this week, but, gotta get people to those properties also, not just ones that are inside the track,” Commissioner Justin Jones said to Miller during the Tuesday meeting.
Though future race preparations are expected to be less disruptive, commissioners also question how LVGP can limit the construction impacts throughout the 10-year annual agreement to race in Las Vegas.
“I don’t want to have to do the bridges every single time. Maybe that’s something you look at for a permanent,” Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick said to Miller during the meeting.
Finally, negotiations continue about using $40 million of taxpayer dollars to partially cover the $80 million repaving project. The LVGP CEO gave no comment when asked about those negotiations after the meeting Tuesday.
At previous meetings, commissioners have also mentioned “public benefits” for community members unable to attend the race in person. Chair Jim Gibson – who has referenced community watch parties for the race that would typically not be allowed – added specifics of this benefit would be announced in an upcoming meeting.
A “week ahead” update is available in text-message form every Sunday to cell phone users who text “F1LV” to 31996. A full list of current and upcoming construction updates can be found on LVGP’s website.