Feb 27, 2012

Rose Bowl press box work reaches new stage with erection of seating risers

Pasadena Star News - Brenda Gazzar, Staff Writer - February 27, 2012

Construction continues on the new press box at the Rose Bowl. (Walt Mancini/Staff Photographer)


PASADENA - Rose Bowl renovation workers Monday erected the first of dozens of massive pre-cast risers that will support luxury boxes and suites.

A 229-foot high crane is lifting each seating riser - which is made of high-strength concrete and weighs at least 39,000 pounds - and setting it into the frame of the new $75 million press box, stadium officials said.

The premium or luxury seats overlooking the stadium will eventually be anchored onto these risers, where spectators will be able watch the football games, said Leah Jason, senior project manager for Bernards/Barton Malow, which is the project manager of the renovation.

The work slowed down a bit on Monday because of the rain but the three-year, $160 million renovation that began in January, 2011 is still on schedule, Jason said.

Workers also completed 10 night shifts from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. in January in order to make up for some lost time in the construction schedule.

One thousand premium seats must be completed and ready for use in the new press box before the first UCLA home game in September.

Workers on Monday also continued widening four tunnels on the north end, which involves digging, stabilizing the soil and shoring up the stadium, Jason said. They are also repairing seating deck concrete on the north end and creating new intermediate aisles there to make exiting easier, just as they've already done on the south end.

Also on Monday, a small fire erupted at the Rose Bowl work site after welders' work accidentally ignited some insulation above the press box on the stadium's west end, Pasadena Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Costa said.

No one was injured and there was no structural damage, he said. A passerby called in the fire about 9:08 a.m., which was put out before firefighters arrived.

Jason said there was considerable smoke for a few minutes but there were never any visible flame on the water-proofing material located below a newly installed metal deck. A contract worker hired to watch out for fire danger extinguished the smoking material with a hose, she said.

This is the second minor fire in the past month at a Rose Bowl work site.

The first fire occurred Jan. 28 as workers cut new aisles on the stadium's north end with a torch, Jason said. A spark went underneath the stadium and caught old wooden form work from the early 20s on fire, she said. After the fire could not be extinguished with a hose, fire officials were called in and they extinguished it with foam, she said.

The only damage from that fire was to old pieces of stadium seating that were being removed, she said.