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Wrigley Field Construction Update: March 17

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The most interesting work going on Tuesday was inside the ballpark.

Even though it was much cooler Tuesday than Monday's summerlike temperatures, much activity was happening at Wrigley Field. BCB's David Sameshima filed this report:

I arrived at 4:10 p.m. It was 35 degrees (+27 wind chill). Lots of engineer/architect/supervisor types on the job site today. I saw groups touring the work site.The tarp panel was open near the northwest corner of the park. That allowed me to see the new staircase being built next to Gate K. I saw a large group of workers checking out for the day, lining up for bag checks with Cubs security. Before I left, there were no trucks parked in front of Gate K. This allowed me to take some photos through the open gate. "Sidewalk closed" signs were repositioned along the sidewalk. They had been pushed aside during most of the winter. Someone painted some of the sandbags along Waveland Avenue bright green.The bleacher structure has now been extended all the way to the left field foul pole. An addition was made to the west end of the jumbotron support. The support structure now essentially extends the length of the buliding property at Kenmore and Waveland. The west end of the structure ends at the front fence of the house. The east end of the structure ends at the building property line, right at the alley. My guess is that the current top of the bleacher structure is as tall as that building's rooftop.The Waveland Avenue work gate was open, so I got a good shot looking east on Waveland. You can now clearly see how much wider the left field bleachers will be.A trailer truck, loaded with girders, happened to be making a delivery on Waveland. It was a trick, to have to back the truck down Waveland.I did take photos from Sheffield Avenue showing the left field bleachers in the background. With the right field bleachers filling in, this view will probably not be available much longer. I estimate the the top of the current right field structure is as high as the roof of the buildings along Sheffield. This is the height of the building only, excluding any rooftop additions. 

The Cubs also sent out an email Tuesday detailing some other changes near the ballpark:

You may have noticed recent changes to the Wrigley Field Blue Lot, located just west of the fire station between Grace and Waveland avenues. The Blue Lot is the temporary home of the historic caretaker’s house. This house, ordinarily attached to the west side of the ballpark across from the fire station, was moved in November to facilitate construction activities. We anticipate the caretaker’s house will be returned mid-summer to its home attached to the ballpark.During the 2015 season, the Blue Lot will also serve as VIP parking for Wrigley Field events. This area will include a tent and a few trailers. Starting tomorrow, crews will be working in the Blue Lot to begin installing posts for the tent which will remain in place throughout the 2015 season.

There are also two photos in this photoset from Mike Bojanowski. Photo 17 shows the dismantling of part of the barrier in front of Gate K, that gate will now have more space. Photo 18 shows the reattaching of the chain link fence that forms parts of the outer wall adjacent to the concourse ramps.

They have done much work inside the ballpark, which you can see particularly in photos 12-16. A stairwell is under construction in the far northwest corner of the park, replacing a circular ramp that used to be there. This is near where the new west entrance/exit from the park will be located -- of course, that can't be open until the triangle plaza is complete, and right now that area is a closed-off construction site.

Whether the ballpark will be ready for baseball at all April 5 is still, in my view, an open question. I've written about this before, and wondered where they might play if for any reason they couldn't open Wrigley Field on time. The only logical choice would be the Cell. If -- and I repeat, if, since this is purely speculative on my part -- they have to play elsewhere, they'd likely have to announce something very soon.

We hope to have more photos here tomorrow.