Sears Point new gate nears completion

SONOMA, Calif. (October 26, 2000) - Sears Point Raceway has reached the first milestone in its $35 million Modernization Plan, which began in September and will span over the next two years. Construction crews have completed the grading process...

SONOMA, Calif. (October 26, 2000) - Sears Point Raceway has reached the first milestone in its $35 million Modernization Plan, which began in September and will span over the next two years.

Construction crews have completed the grading process for a new 80-foot wide road that will serve as the main entrance/exit for fans during event weekends beginning with the 2001 racing season. The road will accommodate up to eight lanes of traffic and will be located on Highway 121, just north of the current Gate 1.

The new Gate 7 will be used strictly for fans, while Gate 1 will still be in operation and be used for competitors, press and others. This funneling of vehicle traffic into two areas will help ease congestion on the roadways.

Moreover, once vehicles enter the property, there will be more than one-quarter mile of staging area past the gate. This will enable raceway officials to move more vehicles off the highway and onto Sears Point's property, further reducing congestion during event weekends.

"This is a big first step in the modernization plan process," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sears Point. "This new Gate 7 will provide fans with easier access into the facility and also ease congestion during major event weekends."

All that is left for completion of the area is paving the road and connecting it to Highway 121, which will occur after the wet winter months.

In other areas, work continues above Turns 2-4 and also on the south side of the property, which will be the site of a new 146,000 square-foot motorsports industrial park, as well as a Go-Kart track. Turns 2-4 are being prepared for the construction of 34,000 Hillside Terrace Seats and additional runoff room for competitors.

More than 2,100,000 cubic yards of dirt have been moved during the project, which began on September 13.

Other Phase One elements include: new wastewater treatment system; construction of partial garages (32) for competitors; pedestrian tunnel under Highway 121; increased runoff on the road course at turns 1, 2, 3, 3a, 4, 6 and 7; sound wall at Turn 9 that will reduce noise emanating from the facility; and a signal light at Gate 1 to help control traffic flow.

All Phase One elements should be complete by the 2001 season. Work will begin on Phase Two following the upcoming season, which will end with the NHRA Nationals, Aug. 3-5.

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