The County of Monterey Board of Supervisors voted to approve the project budget of $14,902,198, and directed staff to proceed with replacing the Start/Finish bridge and resurfacing the 2.238-mile road course at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Owned by the County of Monterey, the investment represents the Supervisors’ commitment to ensuring the long-term future of the internationally known facility.
Granite Construction, which has corporate offices in Watsonville, was awarded the project.
In their board presentation, Randell Ishii, Director of Public Works, Facilities, and Parks; and Bryan Flores, Chief of Parks, illustrated the economic benefits of completing the two projects in unison. The pedestrian bridge at Start/Finish is nearing the end of its lifespan, they reported, and requires replacement for public safety while also enhancing future revenue opportunities.
John Narigi, track president and General Manage, praised the public works, facilities and parks staff for their support and management, that department assuming oversight of the Laguna Seca Recreation Area late last year.
“Mr. Ishii and Mr. Flores expertly presented the scenarios for what this facility needs to keep it among the elite tracks in the world and for the betterment of Monterey County residents and businesses,” Narigi said. “Their expertise and commitment to the Laguna Seca Recreation Area is what delivered this project from conception to implementation. They and the Board of Supervisors are owed a major round of applause.”
In April, the Board of Supervisors approved an estimated cost of $9,725,000 for the two critical projects. But because of the unprecedented worldwide influences of increased transportation and petroleum costs, the cost of the project came in well over the estimate.
“I will admit that I was very concerned the increased costs that were completely out of anyone’s control might negatively affect proceeding with the project,” Narigi added. “The Supervisors’ questions and concerns for the increased funding was evident, but they also knew how important Laguna Seca is to the Monterey County economy, impacting our local retail and hospitality industries and the non-profits which support operational needs during event weeks. Their support is the strongest voice the Laguna Seca Recreation Area has received and indicates their commitment to a bright, multi-use future for the park.”
Construction is scheduled to begin in November that will close the racing surface. The campgrounds will remain open daily and there are many activities being planned that will utilize WeatherTech Raceway for both non-racing and non-motorsport events.
The Paddock and Hagerty Marketplace, meanwhile, will remain open to a wide variety of activities that can be held while construction is occurring.