The former Philadelphia Park Racetrack wanted to expand their operations to include a full casino featuring slots, table games, restaurants and other amenities. They also wanted an upgrade of the racetrack clubhouse at the site.
PARX needed to have the racetrack clubhouse renovated while keeping the racetrack in operation. This required the phasing of work and the minimizing of construction impacts. The new casino building included extensive open spaces that require long-span roof construction to accommodate these space needs. The front façade also featured huge electronic signage and long-span porte cochere roof structures.
THE PS&S SOLUTION
PS&S provided site civil engineering, geotechnical engineering, and structural engineering for the facility. Structural alterations of the existing racetrack clubhouse were carefully coordinated and scheduled to minimize impacts to the ongoing operation of the racetrack.
The site soils are moisture sensitive and required careful inspections by PS&S geotechnical field personnel to verify that adequate bearing was maintained below the building footings and for the extensive parking lot system designed by PS&S site civil engineers. Infrastructure improvements included sanitary sewer extension, water-designed main loops, and stormwater management to incorporate rain gardens for water quality purposes. The building superstructure consisted of structural steel construction with long-span steel joist trusses to accommodate the open floor plan layout of the casino. Structural steel construction was selected for economic reasons and speed of construction. The foundation system consisted of spread footings. The front sign support structures were designed as vertical cantilevers since the signs were much taller than the main building height and the supports had to be rigid enough to prevent damage to the signs. The porte cochere roof structures span in excess of 60 feet to accommodate six lanes of traffic by the casino’s front doors.