The 400m running track is to be resurfaced at the National Sports Centre [NSC] in Devonshire, as it gears up to host the Carifta Games in April 2020.
The existing track, which had a warranty for ten years, was laid in 2001/2002 by Beynon Sports and is now, falling into disrepair.
A spokesperson said, “In places it is separating from the foundation and some areas have lost elasticity – becoming increasingly hazardous to runners causing injuries to feet, knees and joints.
“In addition, consistent with track construction in the 1990’s and early 2000’s the building material for the track contained mercury, which becomes airborne as the track deteriorates.”
Craig Tyrrell, the NSC’s Operations Manager, said: “The prep work started earlier this week and the project should take 13 weeks from start to finish, ending mid-February 2020.
“Clearly this means there will be some disruption for groups who use the track and we will work with them to try and minimise the disruption as best as we can.
“However, this work has to be done and it has to be done not only before the Carifta Games, but to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all those who use the track.”
The spokesperson said, “Earlier this year, NACAC representatives were in Bermuda on a pre-CARIFTA inspection visit, and produced a report stating that at a minimum the track had to be repaired and restriped to meet IAAF requirements.
“A team consisting of representatives from the Department of Youth, Sport & Recreation and the National Sports Centre was formed to research reputable companies qualified to lay track surfaces that could be certified by the IAAF.
“After an exhaustive search, quotes were accepted from Beynon Sports, Pro Form Sports and Mondo International with US-based Beynon Sports’ proposal chosen to complete the work.
“Beynon Sports’ premier track and field and athletic surfaces including outdoor tracks, indoor fieldhouses or multi-purpose gymnasiums are found in some of the world’s most renowned facilities.
“Beynon Sports’ specialized, high performance synthetic athletic surfaces are designed for speed, competition, and daily training. The Beynon Sports track has been approved and certified by all international laboratories and especially by the IAAF, complying with all the norms required by the official organizations.”
Mr Tyrrell added: “Through the support of the Bermuda Olympic Association, an application was made to PAN American Sports which contributes regionally to the building of tracks throughout the North American area. It has pledged to contribute $200,000 towards the total cost to complete the project which is $701,000.
“The original track has served Bermuda and the National Sports Centre in an exemplary manner. In 2004, the Beynon surface produced a World Record in Bermuda when Usain Bolt ran the 200m in a time of 19.93 seconds.
“The new track will also have a ten-year warranty, and hopefully we will see a few more world records being set. I can be reached at email@example.com for any other queries.”