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Roof for Athens Olympic stadium completed
Updated: 2004-06-05 15:32

The second half of a steel-and-glass roof for the main Olympic stadium was pulled into place Friday to cover the 75,000-seat facility that will serve as a showcase for the Aug. 13-29 games.

A general view of Athens' Olympic stadium with its giant roof in place is seen June 4, 2004. Greece confounded critics of its preparations when the futuristic roof over the main Games stadium took shape with the delicate meeting of the arches. [Reuters]
Costas Mathiopoulos, a representative of the Aktor construction company, said workers "are finished" sliding the roof into place.

The roof was assembled in two parts next to the stadium, with each piece slowly pulled into place over tracks leading to the facility. Its two arches hold synthetic glass panels, most of which have already been installed.

The massive east arch of the roof, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, was moved more than 197 feet on a type of giant roller skate.

The west arch was moved into place in mid-May.

Mathiopoulos engineers left an 8-inch space between the two arches so they can be precisely fastened together.

The stadium roof has been mired in delays and there were fears that it would not be ready for the Olympics.

The 17,000-ton roof had to be ready by the end of June to allow crews to finish work on the rest of the stadium complex.

Mathiopoulos said more work remains to be done on the stadium, including painting the arches, installing the rest of the panels, and removing the bases used to assemble the arches.

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