Construction workers on the Las Vegas stadium site have begun installing the 13 rails on which a field tray will be guided into place for Raiders games.
It’s significant because that part of the project wasn’t scheduled until later in the construction process. But it’s an example of why addressing the installation of ill-fitting roof trusses isn’t going to delay completion of the 65,000-seat, $1.8 billion project at Russell Road and Interstate 15.
Don Webb, chief operating officer of the team’s subsidiary that is building the stadium, said last week that it’s all part of the precision and complexity of the project.
“That’s an example of something being taken out of sequence and thrown ahead of where it was originally intended so that we could recover some of the delay on the steel erection,” Webb said on a tour of the construction site. “This normally wouldn’t have been done until we were completely done inside the bowl and working our way out.”
Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney and reporter Richard N. Velotta discussed the stadium project in a new “Vegas Nation Stadium Show.”
Earlier this month, crews removed a roof truss that had been put in place because laser-assisted measurements indicated its alignment was off by one-eighth of an inch.
“They’ll loosen up some of those bolts, actually remove some of the bolts, rack it, shim it, then put in new bolts because these bolts are intended to be torqued once and the tips broken off,” Webb said.
Webb said 20 of the 26 trusses are in place. Earlier in the project, he indicated he was hopeful all of the trusses would be in place by July 31. Now, he expects they may all be in place by mid-August.
Other examples of work being undertaken to keep the project on schedule is some interior finish work and painting, tasks that normally would come toward the end of the project.
The stadium tour conducted for Review-Journal photojournalists and reporters also included a walk-through of the four locker rooms for the Raiders, the UNLV Rebel football team and for visiting teams.
Webb noted that having four separate locker rooms would help the completed stadium vye for hosting an NCAA Final Four basketball tournament some day.
The tour also included a tunnel that circumnavigates the stadium and is large enough for a team bus or equipment trucks. Teams will be able to drive through the field tray opening and into the tunnel, directly to locker rooms. Pedestrian traffic will be carried over the tunnel and down escalators so there are no vehicle-pedestrian conflicts.
Among the next phases of construction are the completion of the truss installations on the north and south ends of the stadium. On the north end, steel beams will be installed horizontally to frame the top of the 80-by-215-foot lanai doors. Installation will be aided with a temporary scaffolding that will be removed once the trusses are in place.
Crews also have begun preparing for the steel cables that will be a part of the roof structure.
Once all the trusses are in place, the ETFE roof — short for ethylene tetrafluoroethylene — will be built on the stadium floor, then lifted into place by two cranes.