Tomas Tales: November CMS update


It’s been a little more than a month since heavy equipment fired up on Canadian Motor Speedway (CMS) land in Fort Erie, the site of the $400 million dollar project that will give Canada its first major league three-quarter mile high-banked oval and two-mile road course complex.

Progress on phase one of the development, the re-construction of Miller Creek, that will run behind the oval’s main grandstand, has been slowed ever-so-slightly by some wet weather in late October.

The plan was to have this initial work completed by the end of October, but the rain has pushed that ahead to the middle of November.

The photographs give you an idea of the progress.


The basin for the creek is being excavated, in preparation for grass seeding along its banks.

Having spent a good deal of time on site dealing with media coverage of CMS ground-breaking and construction, and to check on progress, the one thing that strikes you is the skill the Aecon bulldozer and earth mover equipment operators demonstrate.

Using every precious hour of daylight for efficient use of time, starting at the crack of dawn each day, they move around the site with big heavy machinery loaded with thousands of tons of top soil and clay with speed and dexterity you’d expect from someone driving a golf cart.

The only time they stop is to re-fuel from the large tank of diesel next to the construction office, and of course when there’s just not enough daylight left to move equipment safely.

It’s a beautiful thing to watch, and I have to admit the construction of CMS utterly fascinates me.

All of this is done under very strict safety guidelines.

Aecon’s motto of “Zero tolerance, zero harm” was loud and clear as yours truly and other CMS staff who visit the site can attest, as we had to go through a safety awareness and training exercise.

A hard hat, steel-toed safety boots, safety glasses and a bright orange visibility vest are mandatory whenever we’re on site.

Once grass seed of the banks of the first phase of Miller Creek’s re-construction has been sown, they will cover it with that green paper pulp material, that will be sprayed on to protect the grass seed over the winter.

Then the machinery will depart and heavy machinery activity on the CMS site will cease until the spring when the grass seed should have started to sprout.

Crews will then plant trees next to fish holding pools along the creek bank.

At the CMS offices over the winter, administrative work will continue, with a gala in the spring near the top of the critical planning path.

Construction of the oval, the grandstands and the road course will begin in early summer.

Stay tuned to your Raceline Radio Network affiliate for regular and exclusive updates on Canadian Motor Speedway.

It’s been an historic autumn for race fans, with many significant progress benchmarks still to come as we head into a new year.