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Work begins at Austin

NEWS STORY
31/12/2010

Organizers of the 2012 United States Grand Prix in Austin have kept to their promise that work on the proposed circuit would begin this year, as groundbreaking gets underway on the 970 acre site.

Well within the site, out of public view, right by what will be Turn 11, the work began yesterday (Thursday) with various equipment in use including a 50,000 pound Cat 966H front-wheel loader. At the same time a drilling machine was being used in order to take core samples of the earth.

Over the coming weeks, the work should be visible to passing motorists as the $250 million project really kicks in.

While plans for the circuit were announced in May, construction was delayed because the organizers did not have the relevant planning permission. Earlier this month, Travis County commissioners granted a variance to allow work to begin grading the site, while this week, the City of Austin granted a permit to allow the relocation of two gas lines.

According to the Statesman newspaper: "Because portions of the site lie within a flood plain, grading work would normally wait for review by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which typically takes as long as six months to weigh in. The variance allows construction to begin while that review proceeds.

While no date had been scheduled for the 2012 event organizers admit they have been told to have the facility ready for June, the same month that Montreal hosts the Canadian round of the world championship.

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