LEXINGTON, KY (Aug. 28, 2014) – The conversion of Keeneland’s main race track from a synthetic Polytrack surface to a dirt surface was truly a team effort, involving a number of local and regional companies that lent their expertise in the planning and execution of the renovation project.
Keeneland embarked on the planning process in earnest in June 2013. Track officials met regularly through the fall and winter with a team of experts and contractors to review test site results, research regarding materials and drainage systems, and construction timelines.
The renovation was officially announced on April 2, 2014. Removal of the Polytrack began on May 19 and construction was completed on schedule in mid-August, when the track was turned over to the Keeneland maintenance crew for conditioning.
As he did with the track reconfiguration in 2006, Keeneland Project Administrator John Howard oversaw the renovation, which required 35 full-time construction employees.
Keeneland once again teamed with longtime partners GRW Engineering, Sullivan & Cozart and ABR Construction Inc.:
- GRW Engineering (Lexington) – project engineer. GRW also served as the engineering firm for the 2006 reconfiguration of Keeneland’s main track.
- Sullivan & Cozart (Louisville, Ky.) – general management contractor. Sullivan & Cozart has led every major capital project undertaken at Keeneland since the 1960s, including construction of the Keeneland Sales Pavilion and expansion of the Keeneland Grandstand.
- ABR Construction Inc. (Nicholasville, Ky.) – primary contractor. Keeneland partnered with ABR, owned by brothers Christian and Michael Ach, to build the Keeneland Library and Keeneland Entertainment Center, and on the recent installation of the slate roof on the Keeneland Clubhouse.
Other regional companies involved in the track renovation were:
- Alvin Haynes Trucking Company (Versailles, Ky.)
- Belleview Sand & Gravel (Petersburg, Ky.) – Racing surface material
- C.I. Thornburg Co. Inc. (Lexington) – PVC pipe and accessories
- Custom Welding (Lexington) – Special fabrications of track equipment
- Horseman’s Track and Equipment (Louisville, Ky.) – Track equipment
- Martin Marietta Materials Inc. (Petersburg, Ky.) – Racing surface material
- McGlone Construction Inc. (Harrodsburg, Ky.) – Assisted with installation of Class I sand and racing surface material
- Nugent Sand & Gravel (Milton, Ky.) – Provided pea gravel to fill drainage cells
- RK Hydrovac (Piqua, Ohio) – Polytrack removal from under inside and outside rail
- S&ME Inc. (Lexington) – Geotechnical engineering services and compaction testing
- S&M Precast Inc. (Memphis, Ind.) – Precast concrete structures
- Site Supply Inc. (Midway, Ky.) – EcoRain drainage cells, geotextile fabric
- SITECH Mid-South (Lexington) – GPS control equipment and setup
- Throwing Rocks LLC (Lexington) – Assisted with installation of Class I sand
- Vulcan Materials (Lexington) – Provided Class I sand
- Wilhite Limited (Lexington) – Welding services