0Kestrel help Kempton Park Racecourse unveil new All-Weather Track
Kestrel help Kempton Park Racecourse unveil new All-Weather Track Following an £18.8million redevelopment programme, the Kempton Park racecourse in Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, has reopened after 11 months with help from Kestrel (Contractors) Limited.
Kestrel was the company chosen by main contractor Fitzpatrick to carry out the natural turf track works part of the project.
A new all-weather track was installed, which can be manipulated to reflect good to soft, good, or good to firm ground conditions. The outer track is a 2,000m (6,560ft) oval, 20m wide on the straights, and can accommodate up to 17 runners at any one time.
The scope of the works, related to the natural turf track included stripping off the on-site topsoil and re-grading the sub-base to very tight tolerances (0.04% over 100 metres) which had to be matched in the top surface.
A drainage system was then installed and discharged to a positive outlet.
It was at this stage Kestrel's specialised sportsturf construction equipment came to the fore.
Kestrel's own D5 bulldozer fitted with laser guide and wide tracks was utilised to push out the sand which went directly onto the sub base to a depth of 200mm. This was then followed by 200mm of screened topsoil again being spread to tight tolerances.
After approval was given from Professional Sportsturf Design (PSD) that the required tolerances had been achieved, the go ahead was given to lay the turf; using 25000 square metres of County Turf 1.2metre wide sportsturf super size.
Kestrel's renowned BRL 120 turf laying machine was then used to ensure that the works were carried out quickly and efficiently.
"It was a concern that starting so late into the winter that we would have been dragged into issues that was not of our making" commented John Rogers, Kestrels Site Manager.
"The main difficulty in this particular project was the delay in getting the contract underway; and rather than begin in September when it was originally programmed to start, the natural turf works did not actually begin until late October. This meant that had bad weather set in, the project may not have been ready for the target opening date for the natural grass flat racing in October 2007".
By mid November however, the weather had turned dry with cold, drying winds. This gave a wonderful opportunity of accelerating the works, but a close eye had to be kept open to ensure that quality was not compromised.
A new flood-lighting system was designed and installed to attract visitors from London for nights out and the new all-weather surface will increase the number of races shown throughout the year.
The first floodlit race night will take place on 21 April, and the lights will be switched on by chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) Lord Coe.
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