(ATR) Organizers of the 2022 Winter Olympics say timetables are ready for all 52 construction projects needed to stage the Games.
Beijing 2022 headquarters seen from a nearby hill (Beijing 2022)
Sixteen projects have already begun according to Chinese state run news agencies, with the other 26 starting later this year, the Beijing Major Projects Construction Headquarters Office said. All new competition venue construction will be complete by mid 2020 according to the plans, and upgrades to venues built for the 2008 Olympics will be finished by the next year.
Construction is ongoing in three venue clusters. Beijing will host the ceremonies along with ice events. Zangjiakou and Yanqing will split alpine events. Construction recently restarted in Zhangjiakou, while a high speed rail is being built to bring travel time to the cluster from Beijing to around 50 minutes.
"We are entering into the full construction phase from the general planning stage this year as we speed up building to push the major projects to take shape on schedule," Ding Jianming, deputy director of the constructions office, was quoted as saying. “The release of the general plan and deadline will provide us with a measuring stick to break down the projects, accelerate the progress and deliver on time."
Three competition venues, the skating oval, alpine downhill slope, and sliding center are currently under construction. Construction of the Beijing Olympic Village and a national winter sports training center are ongoing.
Chinese state media says the other projects that are ongoing are “supporting projects such as transportation and electric power facilities”.
Earlier this week representatives from the International Skating Union visited the construction site for the speed skating oval in Beijing. ISU Vice-President Tron Espeli was quoted by state-run outlet China Daily
as saying the federation was in a “fortunate situation,” to inspect construction this early out from the next Olympics.
The oval is being built to house both long and short-track speed skating. The exterior of the building features over 20 glass “ribbons,” in a unique design.
"I'm sure the athletes will be very fascinated and very happy to be welcomed by such a venue in 2022," Espeli was quoted as saying.
“It's very encouraging to see coexistence between speed skating and other ice sports and public use in the oval's post-Games utilization plan.”
Written by Aaron Bauer
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