Living in Wedgewood Houston, I daily watch the Nashville SC stadium go up. Having purchased my season tickets for next season, I watch with anticipation. Even more, as a patron of local eatery Smokin’ Thighs, I routinely meet folks who are working on the construction crew having drinks at the end of their work day and better them with questions. As a result, I feel, somewhat like I know what’s going on with the stadium.
That said, I never fail to feel energized by the Neighborhood Information sessions and construction updates that have been held quarterly since the beginning of this project.
As is the norm, tonight’s meeting was initiated (after an outline of the agenda) by Metro Council member Colby Sledge, who informed us that the meeting would provide a good deal of focus on infrastructure.
Shanael Phillips, Community Management Director of the project reported that the 37% of the work force hours so far have been covered by underrepresented minority and female workers. The goal had been at least 22%. Additionally, 36% of the business subcontracts have been awarded to female or minority owned business, with a goal of 30%. These numbers are impressive and have held steady throughout the construction of the stadium. Phillips clarified that the diverse workforce is also working a wide diversity of jobs on the project. Outreach meant to encourage a diverse work force is intentional and consistent. She noted that the firm had worked with Napier Elementary School on exterior improvements and the construction of a soccer field. They look forward to future community works of this type.
Mieah Turner, Construction Manager, noted that the group is still on pace to complete the stadium on time. She noted some changes in traffic routes and the different work being carried during the day and night in order to provide as much peace as possible to the community. Turner provided comparison pictures of the project which very clearly illustrated the move toward the construction of the main canopy and interior wall work.
The suite and press level steel work is close to complete. Soon, work will begin on exterior work and canopy steel, as well as roofing. Achieving roofing is critical to begin working on interior work (of course, in order to protect those interior areas). Later, work on parking, sidewalks and landscaping will be initiated.
Scott Mckinney, Senior Project Manager, is working on infrastructure improvements. These involve the extension of Wedgwood Ave. to include vehicular lanes, bike lands and sidewalks, intersection improvements at Rains and Craighead streets, an extension of Benton Ave, a new bridge over Browns Creek (including bike lanes and 4 car lanes), two new retaining walls, floodway improvements and an additional turning lane off of Craighead Street. These improvements will both protect the area and encourage easier traffic flow.
During the Q and A session, Colby Sledge noted that the stadium will meet LEEDS silver standing, given that all Metro buildings now need to meet such standards. More, as a LEEDS project, materials need to be recycled and disposed of safely.
There were a number of concerns about traffic flow on game day. The project has hired a firm focusing on traffic flow to help with questions of logistics as well as infrastructure improvements. As reported in the past, while there is some dedicated parking in existence, and while some Fairgrounds parking will be available (including some on the speedway), the team is aware that there is not enough parking on the grounds alone, and the number of parking spaces will change based on what events are occurring at the time.
They predict about 4,000 on site parking spaces. As a result, they are continuing to work on other parking options and easy ways for off site parking and alternative routes to travel to the games.
Neighbors and others are encouraged to send questions and concerns to info@NashvilleSCstadium.com.