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Roof Delay on $2B Vegas Stadium Detailed

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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Questions were again recently raised on the timeline of Las Vegas’ $2 billion Allegiant Stadium project as details were shared with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board about what exactly went wrong with the ETFE roofing system.

While roof completion has been pushed back about 60 days—now set for the end of May—total project completion is still expected to take place in July.

Don Webb, Chief Operating Officer of StadCo, the team supervising general contractor Mortenson-McCarthy Joint Venture, stressed to the board that the company has never missed an opening-day commitment.

Project Background

In January of last year, officials with the project announced that the stadium was one-third complete and on budget, adding that policies were put in place for the venue’s massive grass tray system and diversity performance goals were well-exceeded by contractors.

Mortenson Construction and McCarthy Building Cos., head contractors on the project, had reportedly exceeded the percentage of women and minority workers that’s required by law.

Renderings courtesy of MANICA Architecture

Questions were again recently raised on the timeline of Las Vegas’ $2 billion Allegiant Stadium project as details were shared with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board about what exactly went wrong with the ETFE roofing system.

According to the Benefits Oversight Committee, small business enterprise participation was at 19%, which exceeds the goal of 15%, with $159 million of the $843 million in subcontracts awarded to firms that qualify as small business. In addition, 14 women-owned firms received contracts and 72% of those are Nevada-based businesses.

A safety plan was also OK’d for the stadium’s 9,500-ton, movable natural grass field that will be moved onto the stadium floor from outside before every game.

The 4-foot-deep tray, which will be loaded with grass, sand, gravel and irrigation and drainage components, will roll in on 13 rails through a 14-by-240-foot opening in the stadium. Powered by 76 electric motors, the move will take about 90 minutes. (Arizona’s State Farm stadium also uses this feature.)

Prior to that, a big update for the project came in October 2018, when officials announced that workers had begun installing the 52 truss columns at the site.

The 52 steel beams will frame the exterior 65,000-seat indoor stadium and ultimately hold up its translucent polymer roof, which will rise about 200 feet. The columns weigh about 65 tons each.

“In order for it to hold up the roof and hold up the enormous ring beam that ties those stainless steel cables that support the ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, a fluorine-based polymer) roof, all of that is highly, highly precise,” Don Webb, chief operating officer of the Raiders’ construction subsidiary StadCo, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Other design elements include:

  • Translucent stadium components around the building envelope will give the stadium a black appearance during the day but allow the inside lights to be visible from the outside at night;
  • Envelope ribbons will serve as ventilation and drain water from the roof; and
  • The north end of the stadium is slated to feature folding 80-by-120-foot lanai doors that open to a view of the Las Vegas Strip.

In February, PPG announced that it inked a multi-year corporate marketing agreement with the Raiders team. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the agreement did include that protective and decorative coatings from PPG will be featured in the new stadium.

In July, officials announced that $40 million in additions were approved, raising the overall budget to $1.9 billion. The additions include 20 more suites and a field-level club area.

At that point, $944.7 million had been spent on the project.

In September, officials reported on the measures being taken to secure the structure against earthquakes. The Review-Journal reports that the stadium is being built with “earthquake-friendly columns and bearings” attaching the roof to the main concourse.

While roof completion has been pushed back about 60 days—now set for the end of May—total project completion is still expected to take place in July.

The columns and bearings have about a 3-inch give side to side, 4 inches vertically and 1 inch front to back.

Roof Issues

Assembly of the net on the floor of the stadium has been in the works since August, with the cables measuring about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter and some 800 feet long, weighing as much as 24 tons.

The roof raising reportedly began in October, and it was during the progress report in November that the installation delay came to light.

“As the stainless steel cabling grid was being hoisted into place and attached to the circumferential compression ring formed by the steel canopy roof, one of the connections was overstressed and resulted in a handful of bolts holding one of the more than 100 joints in the lower portion of that canopy to break,” Webb said at the authority meeting earlier this month.

“Bear in mind that we’re talking about a handful of bolts that has more than a half-million similar bolts. No one was injured, and the structure was never in jeopardy of failure.”

Webb said that five engineering firms analyzed the issue and determined that there were no defects, though crews made an effort to replace 1,700 similar bolts despite those holding without incident.

Now, the project as a whole is reportedly 80% complete and work resumed on the roof on Jan. 12—the process is now involving the use of additional cranes. In terms of the financials:

“Mortenson-McCarthy and their subcontractors own all of the cost impacts associated with the installation of the cable net and the EFTE roof,” Webb said. “This includes any cost arising out of the incidental damages to the building, including rain, and any costs associated with resequencing or accelerating the schedule in order to meet the completion date. Neither StadCo nor especially the Stadium Authority have any liability for costs arriving out of the cable net delay.”

Rain damage is estimated to be about $100,000, and a crew of 2,000 is now working on the site with extra shifts to ensure the July 31 completion deadline of the building.

   

Tagged categories: ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE); Good Technical Practice; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Roofing contractors; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

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