Progress Update 28-04-15
Stadium Development Project Manager, Peter Smith, tracks all of the latest changes to Ashton Gate as the first seat is installed in the rebuilt South Stand.
Tuesday, April 28th 2015
Since September last year both Bristol City and Bristol Rugby have been working tirelessly to maintain the gap they’d put between them and their nearest rivals. All that time the stadium team and Barr were working just as hard trying to close the gap we’d created at the southern end of the ground. Rather poetically, in the very same week that both the teams guaranteed their gap remained, we closed ours with the final raker beams, precast concrete and roof sections dropping into place last Wednesday.
With the stadium now enclosed again, anyone attending a game this weekend should really start to get a feeling for the development we’ve been looking forward to. Work has now begun fixing rails to the terracing. Over the coming weeks the new seats will be ‘clipped’ onto these rails, a system already in place at Wolves, Brighton and MK Dons. In fact one solitary seat has already been installed so if your new season ticket is Block S20, Row 15, Seat 28 you’ll be pleased to know your seat is ready and waiting for you!
Meanwhile around the back of the South Stand more cladding, plant-screen and windows have been installed over recent weeks and the side of the stand has been enclosed with temporary cladding which will remain in place until the South Stand is connected with the new West Stand.
On the Dolman side, a new steel frame has been installed on the northern (Atyeo) end of the stand ready to take the roof extension. As part of those works the truss we’ve been building on the ground is now at full length, welded and ready to be lifted into position. Barr aim to do this on Wednesday, though weighing 100 tonnes with complicated connections at both ends, safety will be paramount and every final detail checked before any lift is attempted. To lift the truss will require two large cranes and cherry-pickers. The positioning means cranes will have to drive over the Dolman flank of the pitch but trackway will be laid to protect the playing surface. The intention is to have this laid and taken back up quickly but very carefully. As you can imagine, having done such an outstanding job on the pitch all season-long our Grounds Manager, Craig, has taken a keen interest in this part of the project!
The eagle-eyed of you will have noticed that the truss isn’t straight and is actually built in a bow shape. However once the truss has been taken off it’s cradles and lifted into place gravity will take effect and it will largely straighten out. The next step then will be to remove the column at the southern end of the Dolman Stand. We’re expecting this to be taken out in early May.