Construction crews racing against the clock to complete Churchill Downs renovations before Kentucky Derby
Construction crews have just three weeks to complete work at the track before the start of the spring meet.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky Derby is about 30 days away, and construction workers are coming down the stretch at Churchill Downs.
John Asher, Vice President of Racing Communications at Churchill Downs, said Phase 1 of the project, which started last year, will be complete for the Kentucky Oaks and Derby.
"That's not to say we won't have somebody walking around with a paint brush on Derby morning, but we will have everything ready to go," he said.
If you haven't been to the track since the 2017 Run for the Roses, a lot has changed.
"This is not Churchill Downs as it was just a year ago," Asher said. "It's going to look a heck of a lot different. We've added about 50 acres."
The most noticeable aspect is a larger entrance to the Paddock. A new sign and gates jazz up what used to be a big wall. Come race day, there will also be a pedestrian plaza and bus depot.
"It should make for much more efficient public transportation and for getting people in and out of the racetrack," Asher said.
High above the Kentucky Derby Museum, suites near the upper home stretch are also getting a facelift.
"(They're an) update from the previous suites that we've had in place for about 15 years or so," Asher said.
Phase 2 of the project is set to be begin the Monday after Derby and be finished before the Breeder's Cup in the fall.
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