SONOMA, Calif. - - Fans will no longer only travel above ground when they visit Sears Point Raceway.
In conjunction with the $35 million Modernization Plan currently under way at the track, excavation will begin in the next two weeks on two underground tunnels. Designed to expedite pedestrian traffic throughout the facility, the tunnels will be constructed beneath the start/finish line of the road course and beneath Turn 10.
Unlike the crossover bridges previously used, these underground passages will encourage fans to pass through quickly in order to view the racing action. The congestion experienced by fans in the past should be alleviated with these improved thoroughfares. These tunnels will feature stairs for descent into the passageway, as well as wheelchair access.
The Turn 10 tunnel will feature an entrance at Gate 3, which is a major entrance into the facility from the camping area across Highway 121 for the NASCAR and NHRA events. This will allow fans to more easily access the infield and paddock areas. The Turn 10 tunnel will also be built adjacent to a shuttle stop, which will allow fans easier access around the property.
The tunnel under start/finish will give fans easy access into the new permanent grandstand. Both tunnels and the permanent grandstand at start/finish will be ready for the 2002 racing season.
"One of the worst aspects of Sears Point event experience has been those narrow, congested pedestrian bridges on major race days. These two new tunnels will dramatically improve sight lines and the overall pedestrian circulation around the facility," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sears Point Raceway.
Sears Point Raceway's $35 million Modernization Plan kicked off last September and will take two years for completion. The plan will transform the facility into one of the premier motorsports and entertainment venues in the world.