Many people have been asking me what is going ton with the San Diego Velodrome resurfacing project. I'm not directly involved with any of the resurfacing, and I have not served on the SDVA board of directors for several years now. That being said, everything here is my personal understanding of what is going on and does not represent opinion of the San Diego Velodrome Association, any of the members of the board of directors, or anyone else but me. Here is what I know, or at least think I know. Mark Ainsle has been the driving force behind this project. Many of us have tried to get the ball rolling on a resurfacing project, but Mark is the one that really took it on and finally got it moving. In early fall, 2016 a bid was accepted to resurface the entire track in blacktop. Some question the use of the asphalt/ blacktop type surface, but it is actually an ideal surface for an outdoor track such as ours. Concrete is at least 5 X as expensive, is so hard that it feels bumpy to the riders, ALL concrete will develop cracks, and can be difficult to repair. The epoxy type surface that we previously had was difficult to repair, allowed water to seep underneath, and was slippery as snot when it became wet. The epoxy surface had been patched many times over the last 20 years, and simply needed to be replaced. Black top/asphalt is actually the original surface of the track, and the epoxy surface was installed over that. The photos below show the original surface of the track as it was built over 40 years ago:
All Photos uploaded to San Diego Velodrome Unofficial Discussion Facebook Page by Dusty Wynne
The bid was accepted and the contractor got to work, the expectation was that the resurfacing itself would take only 4 days. There are frequently delays in construction project, as things seldom go perfectly to plan. But the contractor ran into problem after problem, most of them generated by his own mistakes. Days became weeks, and he did not appear to be making any progress. It almost seems that the more he tried to create a nice, smooth surface, the worse it became. After ~ 8 weeks and with the track in worse condition than before, the contractor was asked to leave the job.
The current state of the track surface: All Photos uploaded to San Diego Velodrome Unofficial Discussion Facebook Page by Mark Ainsle
Mark Ainsle has been project managing the job for the SDVA and has put in many hours to get this job done. When it became obvious that the original contractor was not capable of doing the job, Mark searched far and wide a contractor or expert with appropriate experience that would be willing and able take on the challenge. But there simply aren't a whole lot of construction companies that have the right experience for this sort of project. And of the few that do, none of them were willing and able to come to San Diego for the work.
Eventually, Mark connected with some executives at Hazard Construction, a large, local, San Diego company. Hazard does not have experience resurfacing velodromes, but they are a huge company with the experts, engineers, and equipment to get the job done. It appears that the Hazard Construction executives take personal pride in the project as well. The resurfacing was scheduled to be finished the first week of February, but that was before our most recent rains. My guess is that the completion date will shift by a week or so. Even if we add another week for more rain or unexpected delays, that still leaves plenty of time before racing typically starts and before the first scheduled adult classes begin in mid-March. I'll post class registration links as soon as I'm confident that the track will be open. Just email me: Sean@crankcycling.com if you would like top be put on the mailing list and get an alert when registration opens.
Thanks to Mark Ainsle for putting in MANY hours of work on the resurfacing project. I'm sure he'll be as happy as anyone when the whole thing is finished!