A Canadian Motor Speedway milestone reached as heavy equipment rolls in Fort Erie to start $400 million project

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miller creek construction

Special to GTA Construction Report

After seven years of government regulatory and developmental process, heavy excavation equipment is working the Canadian Motor Speedway (CMS)  site in Fort Erie Ontario, to commence phase-one of the $400 million project, the relocation and major environmental enhancement of Miller Creek. This is a critical step to allow for the second phase of the project to proceed, the construction of the grandstands, the oval track and the road course.

Miller_Creek_Aerial_1
An aerial view of the Miller Creek site

“We are making history in Canada and North America for the motorsport fan with this track,” said CMS chief executive officer Ibrahim Abou Taleb. “It has been a very, very long journey, but now we have a wonderful journey ahead of us! For the Town of Fort Erie, this is a new era. CMS is the hub, but around it you have hospitality, retail, research and development that is like a city in itself. CMS will be an attraction that will bring tremendous value to the Town of Fort Erie and the Province of Ontario.”

An Aecon earthmover
An Aecon earthmover

“We are ecstatic,” said Azhar Mohammad, CMS partner and executive director. “If you look at the efforts that have been expended and the milestones we’ve achieved after so many years with extensive support from the community, this is truly exciting for our entire team and partners in Kuwait and the U.A.E.”

The track’s designer, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon indicated he is thrilled. “We have cleared a lot of hurdles along the way,” he said. “We’ve had to be very patient during the entire process, but I’m excited for Canada, I’m excited for auto racing. CMS will definitely be Canadian pride at its best, It’s a Canadian speedway built by Canadians, just 45 minutes from Toronto, 15 minutes from Niagara Falls and Buffalo. I think Canadians are going to be very proud to have a 1.2 km, three-quarter-mile track that’s going to put on some great racing once it’s completed.”

The core property for the oval, the grandstands and the road course is in CMS hands, while work to finalize site planning and the archeological clearances of the periphery properties has been scheduled over the next three months.

Project construction manager Aecon Group Inc. will oversee the entire 820 acre development, working with local construction resources to ensure CMS is positioned for timely completion, within targeted cost, with the highest level of quality and safety, the CMS news release said.

“We are thrilled to be working with Canadian Motor Speedway, and pleased to bring our expertise to the development of this world class race track!”, said Teri McKibbon, Aecon’s president and chief operating officer.

CMS plans a formal ground-breaking in late spring of 2014 to green-flag 18 months of construction of the sports’ first carbon neutral, and Canada’s first world class oval and integrated road course hosting a variety of racing platforms, notably stock car and open wheel racing, which is slated to be race-ready in 2016.

The site's winter settingAbout Canadian Motor Speedway:  CMS is a world-class motorsport and entertainment development in Fort Erie, Ontario. CMS will include industrial, recreational and commercial retail space, as well as a motorsport innovation park in collaboration with McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering, expanding the build-out to $400 million. The core of the project is a stand-alone “Jeff Gordon Designed Signature Speedway” that combines to form an FIA/FIM grade road course.

FIA, The Federation Internationale de l’automobile, is a non profit association established as the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs to represent motoring organizations and motor car users. FIA is best known as the governing body for many auto racing events.

FIM, The Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme, is the global sanctioning and governing body of motorcycle racing. It represents 103 national motorcycle federations, divided into six regional continental unions.

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