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Olympic stadium on track despite arctic weather, Greek officials claim


GREEK CONSTRUCTION ministry officials strongly deny that construction of the Olympic stadium in Athens is falling behind schedule because of recent freezing weather and this week's heavy snow.

The stadium's dramatic double steel arch roof is being assembled in two halves by Italian steel fabricator and erector Cimolai on either side of the structure (NCE 7/14 August 2003).

Officials confirmed the deadline for skidding the 80m high roof arches into place over the grandstands was still 24 April.

They said high winds in the autumn had caused some slowdown of assembly of the giant steel tube arches.

It was feared freakish cold weather and heavy snow this week might have stalled the project.

But key work on welding was continuing round the clock, Kostas Angelopoulos, adviser to the Minister of Construction, said on Tuesday.

'The welds need preheating and must therefore be under cover anyway, ' he added.

Meanwhile three leading contractors, including Aktor, GMP and Avax, have been appointed to complete the road link between the city of Marathon and the Schinias rowing centre.

Work on the road halted two weeks ago when contractor Europayiki Techniki went bankrupt. Angelopoulos said the firm had declared 75% of work complete, although engineers had yet to confirm this.

He said the three contractors would each take one third of the remaining length and should finish in three months.

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