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Arena Builders Lead Media Tour Of Construction Site

The builders of Louisville's new downtown arena say construction of the facility remains within budget and on schedule.Arena construction manager Bill Hedge of M.A. Mortenson Company (pictured)  says the $350 million project is on pace to meet the November 2010 deadline to be open for U of L basketball.

Hedge led a media tour of the site Wednesday morning.He says by later this year, when enclosure work begins, there will be more than 600 workers on-site at Second and Main Streets."Right now we are averaging just over 300 workers a day, we are having big concrete pour today so we're a little higher than that. To date, we've put in roughly 31 thousand yards of concrete. That's enough to build a four-foot wide sidewalk from here to Cincinnati," he said.Hedge says safety precautions at the site have been bolstered since an April floor collapse that injured three construction workers.The arena's primary tenants will be the University of Louisville basketball teams, but officials say they've been working to lure additional athletic events, trade shows and concerts to the  venue.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.