LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An internationally recognized sport is racing towards Las Vegas, though the roads along the race path all need to be repaved for it.
Construction has begun, but how it will be paid for is still being determined.
The first of two rounds of track paving began on Sunday on Sands Avenue between Las Vegas Boulevard and the MSG Sphere.
Medians are being removed, along with repaving the street to meet standards for the cars expected to race on it at speeds over 120 mph.
Repaving is expected to be ongoing until mid-September, a multi-million dollar project with a price tag that has not been explicitly announced yet. However, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President Steve Hill indicated F1 asked them for help.
“The initial request they put in was for $37 million, which is less than half of what the cost of the entire circuit would be,” Hill said during the March LVCVA board meeting.
While an F1 spokesperson declined to provide any updates on the project, a Clark County spokesperson told 8 News Now that taxpayers’ dollars could be used to cover the cost. In a statement, they write:
“As stewards of taxpayer dollars, we recognize the unique impact that the F1 race and subsequent races in the resort corridor will have on our region as a whole and we are excited that F1 is now part of our growing sports brand. While Clark County continues to determine what dollars, if any, will be dedicated to make this a reality, we are committed to ensuring a public discussion occurs before a public-private partnership is forged.”
The spokesperson did not elaborate on when or how this public discussion will occur.
While Clark County would typically use a bidding process to hire construction companies for road projects, that wasn’t the case for this multi-phase road project.
The spokesperson confirms that repaving the 3.8 miles of publicly-owned track is the responsibility of the privately-owned company.
Las Vegas Paving was selected by F1 without the bidding process.
The lack of competition is not a concern of some union personnel, like Laborers Local 872 Business Manager Tommy White.
“We have a tight timeframe to do this,” White said inside his office Wednesday morning. “If some of the other contractors out there wanted a piece of what was going on with Formula One,
they could have jumped in early on.”
White also indicated this company is the best positioned to meet the demands of F1 within the given timeframe.
“Las Vegas Paving, having the workers to do this job, I think the bidding process would have just prolonged getting it done the way it needs to get done,” White said.
Though the November race is the first time the grand prix has raced through the Las Vegas strip this century, steps have been taken to attract it back year after year. Clark County
Commissioners unanimously approved to designate Formula One as an annual event in Clark County in February.
“We anticipate a lifetime together in partnerships. This will open the pathway to do it for at least 10 years,” Gibson said during a board meeting.
The Clark County spokesperson added that “all improvements within Clark County right of way must be reviewed, approved and permitted by County staff.”