Two tunnels at Pocono Raceway providing access to the infield below Turn 2 had experienced extreme deformation shortly after construction 20 years ago. Internal bracing was installed lowering the vehicle height to about 8 feet in one tunnel and roughly 11 feet in the other. As part of an improvement project, the owner wanted to provide an alternate bracing design to permit 13.5-foot clearance in both tunnels. The owner’s directive for the Design/Build was that the racetrack surface not be disturbed. The design was performed for Terra Structures.
Working with H&K’s design group who developed the landscape architecture, EEI designed the outside and infield “end walls” shown above, featuring soil nails and MSE supports for the sculpted shotcrete fascia, which was designed to look like old school rock cuts. For the tunnel improvements, temporary lateral support was provided by installing two rows of 50-foot-long soil nails along the sides of each tunnel. EEI’s most impressive feat was the removal of interior bracing without any surface distortion. A permanent concrete shell was designed for each tunnel which featured 100 percent coverage geocomposite drainage overlain by an eight-inch shotcrete shell reinforced by #6 rebars spaced at eight inches in each direction. The fascia was sculpted in a similar fashion to the end walls.
The finished project was unveiled at a NASCAR event where news clips featured several drivers stating how nice the improvements looked.