Construction continues on Daytona Rising; Some updates ready for Rolex 24



Daytona Beach residents have been watching the $400 million Daytona Rising project grow at the Daytona International Speedway, and Channel 9 got a look at the progress on Thursday.

Channel 9's Blaine Tolison took a look at the work being done prior to the Rolex 24 and Speedweeks, but will the track be ready?

Speedway officials said they've been preparing for months, and fans will be able to walk through the site under thousands of tons of steel.

"Can't wait to see the outcome," said race fan Patty Witcher. "It's exciting."

"When it got launched, I got excited to hear about it," said fan Abraham Banks. "I've already got a ticket order for 2015, so I'm excited about it."

Track president Joie Chitwood personally pointed out what fans can expect during this year's Speedweeks, and it won't be new seats. He said they'll be walking through a construction site.

Even though the Daytona Rising project will not be completed until 2016, the fans will get to use some new things this year, like a crossover gate that allows them to get on and off the track.

Speedway officials said it's just as safe as the gate they already have.

"We believe this will move our fans in and about our property much quicker than we've done in years past," said Chitwood.

Chitwood said that during the Daytona 500, there will be new walkways, maps, signs and nearly 200 more workers in guest relations to help fans move around, but he said it will be challenging.

"But at the end of the day, we will literally walk our fans through the middle of a construction site to get them to their seat," he said.

Ultimately, the new structure will consist of 20 million pounds of steel on top of 60 million pounds of poured concrete.