NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is a major construction project underway at the National Tennis Center in Queens.

There are eight steel columns now soaring above Arthur Ashe Stadium that are part of a new retractable roof that will cover a 250 by 250-foot opening.

“That is so big that you could literally put Wimbledon Stadium right through that hole,” said U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier. “We could see how the steel is rising, completely surrounding the stadium.”

USTA Chief Operating Officer Daniel Zausner said too many finals have been rained out.

“Five years of men’s finals being rained out definitely put that much more pressure on the project,” he said. “There is no financial return on the roof. It’s just the right thing to do for the sport and for the event.”

Zausner said the project is all about the fans.

“Over 40 percent of our fans come from outside the Tri-State Area, so they’re not just taking the train locally to come to the event, they’re staying for three, five, 14 days and if they’re paying for a ticket we want them to be able to see tennis,” he said.

The roof will take five to seven minutes to open.

The project costs $150 million and should be ready for the 2016 U.S. Open.