Arena Site Preparation
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The giant crater we lovingly call the arena site is getting bigger and bigger with every dump truck driving off the dirt field. We stopped by today to see just how big a mess we’re talking about, and it is getting huge. A wooden shoring wall along main street grows board by board as excavation for a three-story underground parking garage takes place. Other crews were breaking up the last remainders of the old Humana building and the electric substation.

Tunnel To The Ohio River
Tunnel To The Ohio River. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

One of the massive tunnels from the substation (visible in the picture above) leading to the Ohio River has been carefully barricaded off. Several of these shafts are on the site and present an interesting engineering problem for building a 22,000 seat building on top. Still other crews were testing concrete auger-cast piles with a fancy contraption and sensitive monitoring devices to see if the thing will actually stand up to the weight of such a large toaster.

In other arena news, an engineering firm known for their work on the McAlpine locks and the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indy was hired to test construction materials like those piles. Some big convention and athletic activities are also being planned for the new facility including a few potential NCAA final four events. This step is crucial as these events pay the bills on the $238 million mortgage. The general contractor told the Arena Authority today to expect steel rising from the site within 11 months. Most exciting, perhaps, is a fancy new countdown clock on the Arena Authority web site, ticking down the seconds until the ribbon cutting. As of this writing, there are 734 days, 3 hours, 49 minutes, and 43, 42, 41… seconds. They also have a webcam of the crater, err arena site if you want 24-hour live footage.

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Branden Klayko

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