Montreal's 1,000 million U.S. dollar (GBP500 million sterling) Olympic complex is finally starting to look?
LV & GV EXTERIOR OF Main stadium (3 shots)
GV PAN Concrete ribs above stadium
GTV Men working on electronic lighting banks
GV PAN INTERIOR High diving pool and swimming pool (4 shots)
GV Work continuing on almost-completed velodrome (4 shots)
Initials CL/2312 CL/2330
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Background: Montreal's 1,000 million U.S. dollar (GBP500 million sterling) Olympic complex is finally starting to look like a stadium.
After more than a year of uncertainty caused by strikes, freezing temperatures, money shortages, and allegations of fraud and corruption, two of the main parts of the complex - the velodrome and the swimming pool - are nearly finished.
Meanwhile, with work going on 24 hours a day on the site, the spectacular concrete "ribs" and lighting banks soaring over the central athletics track are also nearly complete -- for the first time showing outward signs that the stadium is nearing completion.
The original structure has been trimmed of its graceful tower and extensive press centre to allow the project to be finished for the 17 July start of the Games. The upper deck seating will be temporary.
But both the Quebec Government - which took over financing the construction of the facilities from Montreal city in October last year - and the Olympics Organising Committee (COJO) are becoming more confident that they will be able to produce adequate facilities for the Games.
The organisers were given a boost in February, when the full International Olympic Committee (IOC) accepted their assurance that he complex will be ready for the Games to go ahead on schedule.
SYNOPSIS: Montreal's giant 1,000 million dollar Olympic complex is finally starting to look like a stadium. After more than a year of uncertainty over whether it would be finished in time for the 17th of July start of the Games, organisers are becoming moire and more confident the facilities will be ready.
With work going on 24 hours a day on the site, the spectacular concrete "ribs" and lighting banks soaring over the central athletics track are nearly finished -- the first outward sign that the complex is nearing completion.
The work has been slowed down by freezing weather, allegations of fraud and corruption, union disputes and rising costs. Some of the problems were largely overcome when the Quebec Government took over control of financing construction in October last year.
Two of the most important parts of the main stadium -- the swimming pool and velodrome -- are also very nearly finished. The Olympics Organising Committee -- COJO -- has repeatedly assured critics that the facilities will be finished in time, with only a few minor changes to plan.
The regional structure has been trimmed of its graceful tower which was to have supported a retractable roof. But with costs escalating, and the deadline getting closer, organisers decided these "extras", along with extensive Press facilities, would have to be dropped. There is instead a plan to finish the stadium properly after the Games. The Quebec Government and COJO were given a boost when the International Olympic Committee met in Innsbruck in February and accepted their assurances that the facilities will be ready in time.