JOLIET – Barring a big winter heat wave, artificial turf installation at Joliet Route 66 Stadium won’t start until February at the soonest.
Joliet still expects artificial turf ready for play when the Slammers play their first home game May 15.
“Right now, we’re telling them to try to get the turf in late February or early March,” Public Works Director James Trizna said Tuesday.
Construction manager Wight & Company, along with city officials, had talked about the possibility of installing artificial turf before winter sets in. But it’s getting colder outside, and the preparatory work for the turf is not done.
Preparations were slowed down when construction crews ran into bedrock, which delayed the installation of new field drainage.
It also is hindering the construction of a new outfield wall, and making it more expensive.
On Tuesday, the City Council approved a $25,098 add-on to the contract for outfield fence construction, which was awarded in September at a price of $166,420. The city attributes the extra cost to the effect of bedrock on installation and the type of fence posts that will be used.
The outfield wall is being reconfigured to accommodate soccer and other sports. Joliet wants to convert the baseball park into a multisports stadium as the city hopes to generate more revenue from the facility.
Joliet is spending more than $1.6 million on the project, including $651,000 for the turf.
The preparations, which started in mid-September, include the new outfield walls, concrete work, excavation needed for the turf and landscaping.