HDPE pipe system hits a home run at Wrigley Field
Chicago, Ill. — A wise baseball fan once said, ‘you win some, you lose some, and some get rained out.’
Chicago Cubs’ players do their best to maximize the winning, and a corrugated drainage pipe manufacturer in Ohio, Hancor, Inc., has done its part to minimize the rainouts.
The space between the batting area and the backstop tended to flood during heavy rains, and that was an obstacle for team officials who wanted to install three rows of premium seating directly behind home plate. Plans also called for an underground club level area to be directly under those premium seats.
The first option was to increase the existing outlet sizes that lead to the city storm sewer pipes. But that idea was scrapped due to lack of capacity in the city’s system. Plan B was to utilize the space between the bottom of the new seats and the footings. But there was not enough volume available there to store the water.
The most sensible option for Osborn Engineering, a firm that has overseen most major renovations at Wrigley Field in the last 20 years, was to install a drainage system underneath the playing field. Osborn specified a LandMax® retention/detention system from Hancor.
“Our preference was to go with something lightweight, and we needed a whole lot of lateral lines to connect to the manifold,” said Scott Vura the engineer on the project from Osborn. “And we also needed all the fabrication to be done off site, so that hand-carrying the system into the stadium would have to be possible.”
That’s when they started looking at the area between the first base line and the visitors’ dugout. To successfully store water there, and to avoid the high water table, project officials needed a system that could be buried just four or five feet underground with enough volume to hold what they needed.
The solution was a Hancor high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe retention/detention system. Vura said it’s the first time HDPE pipe has been used in a construction project at Wrigley Field.
“The system also had to be strong to withstand the grounds’ crew equipment because it was going to be buried so shallow,” Vura said.
The Hancor LandMax system met all the criteria for Osborn to successfully design the system and for the contractor, McNally Construction to complete the installation during the off-season. The design was approved Aug. 14, 2003 and the system was complete before opening day in April 2004.
The installation of the pipe itself was done in less than four weeks.
“And we even got a late start because the Cubs were in the playoffs last year, playing games at Wrigley Field deeper into October,” Vura said. “Everything was done on time, the work looks seamless on the field, and all the sewers are working great with the new system. And we put in extra access points from the new seats down to the Hancor LandMax system for easy clean out.”
Cubs’ team officials have been pleased with the results.
“There were a couple of different situations where we received heavy rain and the new system performed admirably,” said Paul Rathje, Director of Stadium Operations. “It alleviated our concerns regarding possible pooling of rain water on the playing field behind the home plate area.
“The new premium seating area has been a resounding success and our fans enjoy some of the best seats in Major League Baseball,” Rathje added.
One of the nation’s largest suppliers of storm water management systems, Hancor manufactures a wide variety of plastic drainage products for the commercial, residential, construction and agricultural markets. Hancor was founded in 1887 in Findlay, OH and operates manufacturing facilities and service centers across the country.
For more information,
Ms. Tori Durliat, Hancor, Inc.
Marketing Communications Manager
401 Olive Street,
Findlay, Ohio 45840