Sochi preparations show upside of forward planning
Just over fifteen-hundred days to go before the Winter Olympic Games and Vladimir Putin went to check the pulse of construction works in Sochi.
Large-scale infrastructure was represented by the international airport. Modern design, but also the latest technology. Putin made his way through the terminal as an arriving passenger. With testing underway, the airport will start operation in March 2010. New runways will be added by 2012 according to Transport Minister Igor Levitin.
“We've just finished the first runway and plan to end the second one next year. We will also start the construction of new taxiying strips and ramps next year to provide parking space for planes according to IOC requirements. We planned to finish on schedule by 2012 – but right now we are ahead of it.”
Forty-five key projects are under construction – and they won praise from the visiting International Olympic Committee, which was impressed by the rate of progress. As for next year, Putin called for close attention to be paid to finances, to keep projects on track.
"Any delay in construction may result in breaking the schedule – thus raising the personal responsibility of all participants. Project planning should be kept to a strict timetable. Any increase in the scale of construction should be fully covered with credit and financial resources.”
24 hours a day, 7 days a week: That is the work schedule on the ice arena – a key element in the Olympic park. Construction is ahead of schedule, saving time for the main arena, designed to fit into the natural harmony of the region with its ceilings repeating snowy mountain tops.
During his visit to the Sochi Olympic site, the Prime Minister was reassured. By building infrastructure first, like the train tunnels that will connect the seaside with the mountain tops, other projects will be completed more quickly next year.