Here’s why north Arlington is overrun with dirt-filled dump trucks

The big dig for the new Texas Rangers ballpark has reached the halfway point.

The bowl-shaped hole for the $1.1 billion retractable-roof stadium, named Globe Life Field, is starting to take shape, with loads of dirt moving out and retaining walls and concrete piers moving in.

The stadium is scheduled to be completed in time for 2020 baseball season and when it’s finished, home plate will sit 50 feet below street level, said Rob Matwick, Texas Rangers vice president, ballpark operations.

Crews have been working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week to excavate the stadium site. So far, they have excavated 700,000 cubic yards of dirt, enough to fill 48,000 dump trucks.

Most of the dirt that is being moved travels north on Collins Street to the Arlington landfill, across the street from the Viridian master-planned community.

“There is an end date for that traffic on Collins,” Matwick said. “We anticipate that it will be complete by the end of February — not later than then.”

Aerial of new Rangers stadium
An aerial view from Oct. 31, 2017, of the new Texas Rangers’ ballpark and Texas Live! in Arlington. Paul Moseley

The Rangers have already ordered steel for the stadium’s bowl, with more to come. Matwick said they also need to order steel for the roof, though design work is still underway on that part of the ballpark.

“The roof design needs to get finalized so we can order that steel and everything else will fall in place behind it,” Matwick said.

Work on the plaza outside the stadium will also begin February to coincide with the construction of Texas Live!. The entertainment complex adjacent to Texas Live! is scheduled to open by late summer, Matwick said.

While most of the dirt goes to the landfill, City Manager Trey Yelverton said there has been some interest in using some of the dirt for several projects, but they would require permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Getting that approval will take time, Yelverton said.

“It doesn’t mean it can’t be moved at a later date,” Yelverton said. “It will be sitting at a way station at the landfill for some time.”

Some of the dirt may be used for a design change on the east side of the stadium project, Matwick said. That dirt would be moved on site and never hauled away.

The stadium project has a goal of awarding 25 percent to minority and women business enterprises. So far, 29 percent of the contracts — or $43 million of $148 million — have gone to MWBE contractors, Matwick said.

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna