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Galedrige Reconstructs Altamont Motorsports Park

Mon March 19, 2007 - Midwest Edition
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The “Three Amigos” of Wirtgen 1900 DC cold milling machine, Hamm HD 13 and HD 75 rollers, and 880 RTB tracked paver from Vogele America combined to quickly reconstruct a central California race track between the time winter rains finally ended, and the commencement of races in May.

Three Amigos customer Galedrige Construction Inc. was lead paving contractor for the $4-million reconstruction and update of Altamont Motorsports Park, near Tracy, Calif., east of Oakland. Altamont is a NASCAR-sanctioned motorsports park featuring a family-friendly environment for a variety of race types. Altamont features the largest paved oval — .5 mi. (.8 km) — between Redding and Los Angeles.

The Altamont track was showing its age, and needed upgrading to stay competitive and avoid the fate of other such tracks, that is, demolition and redevelopment as housing or light industry.

Altamont fast-tracked construction so that the historic, short-track oval raceway would launch the 2006 season as a new multi-track, updated motorsports park. The overall plan was that by opening day in early May, the historic .25- and .5-mi. (.4 and .8 km) paved oval facility would be enhanced by the addition of 12 ft. (3.6 m) of racing surface on the .5-mi. (.8 km) oval, and a complement of six tracks, with 18 possible configurations.

New tracks include a road course, a figure-8 track, kart course and drifting course. A one-eighth-mi. (.2 km) drag strip is planned as a subsequent addition. Added to that will be safety and guest amenity improvements, including stadium lighting, safety walls, new pit area paving, technical facilities, new audio system, new restrooms, updated concession stands, and landscaping.

“Our vision for Altamont Motorsports Park is the creation of an attractive place to race and an accessible location for the community to enjoy a broad range of motorsports events,” said Kenny Shepherd, president and general manager. Events now can include oval track stock car and sprint car racing, as well as road racing, karting, drifting and figure-8 racing.

The 1.1-mi. (1.8 km) road course will integrate with the existing .25- and .5-mi. (.4 and .8 km) paved ovals, and should allow race drivers to manipulate their cars through some turns at speeds approximately 100 mph (161 kmh), and then challenge them at 40 mph (64 kmh) in tighter corners.

“It’s a complete reconstruction and reconfiguration of the track,” said Al Galedrige, chief executive officer and founder, Galedrige Construction Inc.

“Quality control of the asphalt from Granite Construction — on behalf of the drivers and the client — is a major part of the success of this project.

“The 3,000 tons of mix were tailored for the race track, and intensive quality control of the mix components at the plant, and the temperature of the mix coming out of the plant, and at placement and compaction, played a very big part. Quality control of compaction also was critical.”

The project was complicated by weeks of record rainfall in central California, which greatly delayed commencement of reconstruction and resulted in a pressured schedule for completion by the first race event of the spring.

The 1900 DC was used to remove all deteriorated areas of pavement of both track and pit areas, in excess of 40,000 sq. ft. (3,716 sq m).

“The 1900 DC is an awesome piece of equipment,” Galedrige said. “It’s a high-production machine. You set it down, set the grade, and grind it out.”

Galedrige said the machine has in excess of 6,000 hours. He has owned the unit since 1998.

Using the Vogele America 880 RTB — predecessor of today’s 2116T — mix was placed 3 and .75 in. (7.6 and 1.9 cm) deep, and final depth after compaction was 3 in. (7.6 cm) deep.

“We rented the machine all last year, and acquired it in late winter,” Galedrige said. “For the majority of work that we do, including shopping centers with lots of curbs, most screeds are too heavy. But the versatility of this machine is amazing. The screed is the right weight and goes from 8 feet to almost 6 feet, and wider with extensions. It will work for our larger jobs, as well as all the small jobs we do.”

The Hamm rollers compacted the mix to a minimum 95 percent, with many areas attaining 99.8 percent.

Tri-Valley Excavating worked with Galedrige on all grading, subgrading and base installation. Tri-Valley’s owner Mike Garcia has collaborated with Galedrige on projects for more than 15 years. Brad Reed of distributor Nixon-Egli Equipment Co., also assisted on the project.

(This story appears courtesy of “Wirtgen Technology” magazine.)