Demolition Firm Races to Remove Darlington Grandstand in 2 Weeks

Wed November 23, 2005 - Southeast Edition
Jeff Cronin

Before work could begin on the construction aspects of a $6 million capital improvement plan at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, SC, the old Brasington Grandstand in Turn 2 had to go.

For two weeks this fall, a 15-member crew from Total Demolition in Hartsville, SC, leading with a Caterpillar 330 excavator with a Genesis XP shear, crunched away the old 3,000-seat grandstand.

Vice President Todd Talbert said it took three days to bring down the 40-ft. tall set of bleachers. The material was all hauled away within two weeks.

The crew worked around the clock in two 12-hour shifts.

Talbert said between 50,000 and 60,000 tons of steel were hauled from the site per day and taken to Bush Recycling in Florence, SC.

In all, the crew dealt with 200,000 lbs. of steel and 100 tons of wood and concrete.

The wood bleachers were hauled to a dump site, while the concrete was recycled.

Among the machine assisting with the clean-up were a Caterpillar 230 trackhoe and a Caterpillar 416 backhoe.

Getting the job done on a timely basis was a top priority for Talbert, as the track’s owner, International Speedway Corporation, has some big contracts in the wings.

The staff at Kuhn Equipment, the dealership from which Talbert rented the equipment, assisted the crew in getting the job done quickly.

A fitting busted in the shear, but a Kuhn service worker was on the scene within three hours, keeping downtime to only one day.

The demolition project has made way for the construction of a new 6,300-seat grandstand in Turn 1, which is expected to be completed in time for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 500 weekend, May 11 to 13.

Additionally, the corporate tower suites located outside Turn 3 and the infield suites in Turn 2 will be renovated and upgraded.

Electrical service for 48 motor homes will be installed in the competitors’ parking area and all overhead powerlines will be moved underground.

“Our company has given us an overwhelming vote of confidence with their decision to invest in the track’s future. We’re very excited and ready to roll up our sleeves to get to work,” said raceway President Chris Browning as the project commenced.

The Brasington Grandstand, constructed in 1965, was one of the last covered grandstands until the roof was removed in 2004, when the track was illuminated. It was named after Darlington’s developer, Harold Brasington. CEG

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