RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Not quite two months ago, we heard voices raised about scores of mature trees that were “mistakenly” taken down to kick off construction at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center on Leigh Street behind the Science Museum.
Now all you hear is a symphony of backup alarms and the diesel roar of heavy equipment. There’s the rich smell of earth as it is pushed and pulled, tamped and smoothed by a wide variety of machines.
Virtually every inch of the 17-acre site has been turned upside down as work reaches the two-month mark; one third of the way to the goal line.
And the acreage covered by the trees that were supposed to have been saved has been transformed the most, with a 20-foot mound of excavated earth piled there and waiting to be redistributed for the final grading.
Heavy equipment operators are getting down to the finer grading for the two side-by-side football fields, which have to be lush by June, which is why the bill will crowd the $10 million dollar mark.
Being late is not an option. Luckily, the weather has largely cooperated.
They’ve been working seven days a week and are on schedule.
Most of the deep drainage lines have been laid down. A half-acre of concrete has been poured for the locker rooms and training facility. The steel is now being erected. That will go pretty fast.
The plans have been updated, showing the locations and types of new trees to replace those that were – let’s just tell the truth here – were in the way of getting the job done quickly and efficiently . . . on time.
This is the way all big site work is done, from new golf courses to shopping malls – even many residential projects.
Clear, shape, then plant.
Anyone believing it was an accident those trees were destroyed should pull over on W. Leigh Street, step out of the car and have a look.
And those who told citizens that the trees would be saved during the rapid and controversial negotiations for the training park were – at best – ill-informed.
That’s my take on this situation. Please leave yours here on WTVR.com.