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Work on Olympic venues to start
( 2003-12-13 00:28) (China Daily)

Preparations for the construction of four venues for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games have been completed and work is scheduled to start before the end of this month. This marks the beginning of the three-year Olympic venue construction project.

The design for the State Stadium, which resembles a giant bird's nest, has been chosen by the organizing committee based on fair competition. [newsphoto.com.cn]
The first group of venues to be built include the National Stadium, the National Swimming Centre, the Beijing Shooting Range and the Laoshan Velodrome, according to sources with the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).

Construction of earthwork and infrastructure facilities will be the focus of the initial work, with actual construction of the venues getting under way next year, said Ping Yongquan, director of BOCOG's Venue Planning and Construction Department, who noted that the projects are expected to be completed by 2006.

As the main stadium for the 2008 Games, with an investment of over 3 billion yuan (US$360 million), the National Stadium will no doubt attract the most attention among the four venues.

The construction workers and equipments are now ready at the site, which is located in the Olympic Green, in the north of the city and east of its north-south axis line, Li Aiqing, Chairman of the Beijing State-owned Assets Management Co Ltd, said in an interview.

Li's company is responsible for the investment, construction and operation of the National Stadium and the National Swimming Centre.

"The construction site for the stadium has been cleared and the division lines have been marked. The removal of trees and stumps has been completed. Electricity will be supplied before the ground breaking,'' he said.

So far, the National Stadium Co Ltd, which was jointly established by Li's company and the China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) Consortium, has completed the company registration documents and submitted them for approval, said sources.

The State-owned assets company has organized four symposiums over the past months on the steel structure of the National Stadium, the so-called birds' nest, and on the inner environment of the stadium and the National Swimming Centre, to invite advice from experts.

"I am so happy to see the active participation of society in construction of the venues to bring the city the best-ever Olympics,'' Li said.

As one of the results of the symposiums, a working team organized by Jiang Yi, an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering is now involved in the work of the swimming centre.

Sources with the BOCOG construction department also said that as a result of the efforts of experts to optimize efficiency, steel consumption in the National Stadium has been reduced from 80,000 tons to 45,000 tons, while still ensuring quality and functionality.

The sources also released information confirming that bidding for the overall construction project of the swimming centre will be conducted early next year. Beijing Mechanical Construction Company won the bid for earthwork and foundation treatment last month.

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