Bucks on Schedule for Arena Construction

Construction for the Milwaukee Bucks Arena just started in June. 

From far away it may look like there's only cranes where the arena will be, but a little closer to the site there's a lot of action. 

Trucks are constantly driving in and out. All at once, machines and cranes are compacting soil, and preparing for the foundation. Trucks are hauling steel, material, stone and fill; much of the gravel is from a local quarry. They're already getting deliveries for gravel that goes just underneath the arena floor. 

At the peak of construction, there will be 800 workers on site.

"We can't do just one thing at a time. We're doing multiple trades at various point on the site," said Denver Callahan, Senior Project Superintendent with Mortenson Construction.

What an onlooker might notice first is a ten ton weight being dropped from a crane. It makes a loud "thud" sound as it drops to the ground. The process is called "dynamic compacting"

"It's a ten ton weight being dropped multiple times over to make sure the soil is properly compacted... we'll cover it with a layer of stone which you can see on the northern part of the site," said Jesse Kemp, Senior Project Manager with Mortenson Construction.

Workers will finish getting the soil ready this week, and then 1000 steel rods will go into the ground. Callahan says the crews will start driving steel piles on Wednesday. That will be a necessary task before pouring the foundation.

Although he is a Packers fan, Jesse Kemp just finished working on the U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings. 

In fact, Mortenson is the company that managed that project. 

Kemp says the Milwaukee Bucks arena has one of the more aggressive schedules he's worked on.

"[We're] starting to get the horizontal work in place until about November when we start going vertical with steel," said Kemp.

By November, onlookers will see columns and beams rise from the site, and in just 18 months, the building will have taken shape. The next few months before the opening will be finishing touches.

"A lot of curtain wall, a lot of glass... it's going to be a nice building, really good looking," said Callahan.

Mortenson Construction asks anyone that goes near the arena site to be safe: stay a safe distance away from the site, and behind all of the site fencing.

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