Edited press release
The final phase of Arlington Park’s $11-million project to replace the traditional dirt surface with a state-of-the-art synthetic surface began March 29 with the first installment of the Polytrack surface on the 1 1/8-mile main track.
Polytrack is comprised of sand, synthetic fibers, and recycled rubber combined and coated with a microcrystalline wax that ensures water flows vertically through it to the specially designed sub-surface drainage system to provide a safer, more consistent racing surface.
Following the December 2006 announcement that Arlington would install a synthetic racing surface, the project began with the removal of 14,000 tons of dirt that comprised the cushion and surface pad of the old surface. Once the surface and pad were removed, about 11,000 tons of the track’s limestone base was removed and the sub-base of the track was graded.
The next step in the process included trenching and the installation of more than four miles of irrigation pipe and nine miles of perforated drainage pipe covered by 4,000 tons of four-inch-deep graded drainage stone. The top layer of the base, 711,000 square feet of two-inch-deep porous asphalt, was then applied to cover the drainage stone.
With the base and drainage-system installation complete, the installment of 20,500 tons of Polytrack material is expected to continue for about two weeks. Arlington’s main track will open for training April 25 as the horses prepare for the May 4 opening day of a 94-day meet.