GPR Scanning Helps NFL Event, MLB Stadium Improvements Go Off Without a Hitch
Concrete cutting and GPR scanning are integral applications in manufacturing and renovating some of America’s most beloved entertainment venues. Recently, a CSDA GPR contractor was recruited to help prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tennessee and to help renovate a historic baseball field in Tampa, Florida.
Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida is the spring home of the New York Yankees and the home field for the Yankees class A affiliate Tampa Tarpons. A new kitchen addition was being built at the stadium and the general contractor needed to drill through the concrete slab between the kitchen and an electrical room below the stands. The contractor wished to avoid hitting post-tension cables and other unknown anomalies which may have been hiding in the 10-inch concrete slab.
CSDA member GPRS first scanned the top of the concrete slabs securing the stadium’s seating and found the post-tension cables three inches from the surface, with a foam layer in the middle of the concrete. They then scanned from below the slab to make sure there were no post-tension cables on the other side of the middle foam layer.
In total, fifteen 24-inch by 24-inch areas were scanned with a GSSI StructureScan Mini and a 1600MHz antenna. GPRS also used an RD-7000 to detect live power and RF signals below the surface to find electrical lines or telephone lines. After all anomalies were clearly marked on the surface, they were covered with a clear-coat spray to ensure that none of the markings would be worn away by foot traffic or other work in the area.
With the success and accuracy of GPR scanning, the general contractor was easily able to see where the post-tension cables and other anomalies were located in the concrete near their planned drilling locations and safely drilled the required three-inch holes through the slab.GPRS was also called in to help with the ever-popular 2019 NFL Draft, which took place from April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee. You may have watched it from your couch, or at a bar or even been to the event yourself. Such a massive undertaking requires not only an enormous amount of manpower, but also extensive knowledge and experience to make the process go smoothly. You know what they say – when you’ve done something right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all. To facilitate this production, hundreds of tent anchors, support columns and fence posts had to be driven below the surface of Broadway in downtown Music City and temporary electrical, drainage and sewer lines had to be laid. GPRS was called on a weekly basis to locate subsurface utilities and hazards in the work area and beyond.
For weeks leading up to the live event, GPRS located dozens of utility lines including gas, electrical, water, sewer, storm and telecommunication. GPRS also located secondary and service lines. Knowing the location of these utilities ensured that everyone working on the site was safe from the potential dangers of hitting a subsurface line, and the city would not have any of its power, water or other utility supply lines disrupted.
The NFL Draft was unique in that the areas that needed to be scanned were at random locations and on every imaginable surface. During some hours of the day, GPRS would be locating underground utilities on asphalt and concrete in the middle of the street and sidewalk. With a moment’s notice, GPRS would be asked to scan another area with completely different conditions.
With the amount of foot traffic and equipment in the area, one of the obstacles that GPRS Project Manager Zach Vickers faced was creating a layout that was easy to read and would endure the foot traffic and weather for days and weeks. Zach would take special care to get enough marking paint on the ground, then worked with crew leaders to thoroughly explain his findings during a site walk at the end of each day.
No matter the location, surface or challenges, GPRS was able to cover almost any request, from locating for a proposed fence line to right next to the monster stage to drive anchor spikes. More than 600,000 fans attended the 2019 NFL Draft and free concerts, with another 47.5 million watching on TV. The speed and efficiency GPRS brought to the project helped to keep the live event safe, on schedule and on budget.
Ground Penetrating Radar Systems, Inc. (GPRS) was established in 2001 and has been a CSDA member for six years. The company is based in Toledo, Ohio with branch locations in every major metropolitan area across the U.S., including a recently-opened branch in Hawaii. They have over 300 employees and continue to grow. GPRS offers the non-destructive testing services of ground penetrating radar and utility scanning.