What’s that smell? Ballpark construction unearths pungent reminders of trash dump

When it opens in 2017, the smells of baseball will permeate the air — grass (ballfields), leather (gloves), cowhide (baseballs) along with popcorn and maybe even cigar smoke.

But for now, the construction site at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches at time smells like something else — a trash dump.

That’s because a team of tractors has been digging up long-buried mounds of trash on the 160-acre site, which was used as a landfill from about 1955 until 2000.

Workers use front loaders to mine former land fill that will become major league baseball spring training facilities in West Palm Beach, Thursday, January 14, 2016. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

Workers use front loaders to mine former land fill that will become major league baseball spring training facilities in West Palm Beach, Thursday, January 14, 2016. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

The trash mounds have been covered by dirt and grass for several decades. But when construction started Nov. 10, tractors disturbed those mounds, releasing not-so-sweet landfill odors.

So far, crews have not heard any complaints from residents living around the site, which is south of 45th Street between Haverhill Road and Military Trail. But onsite, where the public is not allowed, the trash smells can be evident, especially if the wind is blowing.

The so-called “mining” of the trash mounds is expected to last until about April, when the site will be cleared of debris and ready for vertical construction.

The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals are scheduled to move in to the $144 million complex a year from now.

 

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