Key venues for the Beijing Olympics will take shape by the end of the year.
The main structures of the National Stadium, dubbed the "Bird's Nest," and the National Aquatics Centre, or "Water Cube," will shape up in the northern part of the capital over the next five months.
The two projects are making good progress, despite the dismissal last month of Liu Zhihua, former chief of the 2008 Project Construction Headquarters Office.
Liu, also vice-mayor of Beijing, was stripped of his post for corruption and dissoluteness, raising concerns that the constructions' progress would be affected.
But fears were quelled yesterday by Li Zhengquan, deputy project manager of the National Stadium, who said the project was making good progress.
"Eighty per cent of the steel structure has now been installed and we plan to finish construction by the end of 2006," he said. "The construction process is strictly in accord with the original plans and the whole project will be completed by the end of next year."
Covering an area of 258,000 square metres, the National Stadium will seat 91,000. It will host the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as track and field events and the football finals. And as the "Bird's Nest" takes shape this year, the "Water Cube" will also be clad in it's eye-catching membrane.
"The steel structure of the 'Water Cube' has been finished and we are preparing to install the outside membrane. Work will start in the latter half of this month," said Kang Wei, manager of the project.
"The membrane structure in the outside walls of the swimming centre will be completed by the end of this year and the whole project will be finished by October 2007."
The National Aquatics Centre will hold aquatic events such as swimming, diving, water polo, and synchronized swimming.
According to officials from the 2008 Project Construction Headquarters Office construction has now started on all the new buildings for the Beijing Games and the main structures of most will be completed within this year.
In order to meet increased needs during the Games, Beijing Capital International Airport is also being extended with a third terminal building, a new runway, three highways and other buildings.
With a total investment of 25 billion yuan (US$3.126 billion), the work started in March, 2004 and is planned to be completed by December 2007.
"To satisfy the requirements of the Olympics, we have promised that the expansion programme will be finished by the end of next year," said Ding Jiangang, deputy chief of the airport extension project.
Source:By Lei Lei (China Daily)