Canadian Consulting Engineer

Costs rise for Winter Olympics

The Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee admits it is concerned about rising construction costs for the 2010 Wint...

July 15, 2005   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee admits it is concerned about rising construction costs for the 2010 Winter Games, and is revising its business plan and budget.
Construction on facilities for the games was originally budgeted to be $620 million, but a CBC report in July said construction costs might jump 25-40% over the original projections.
Renee Smith-Valadu speaking from the Olympic organizing committee (known as VANOC), said they hope to have a new business plan by the fall, but that they will have a much better idea of what costs will be after the Torino winter Olympics are held in Italy in February.
She said that the committee’s contribution to many of the Olympic building projects is capped and the communities in which they are located will have to pay the shortfall. In some cases, however, the organizing committee is acting as a developer and will be responsible for all the costs, such as those for the Whistler Sliding Centre which has just received environmental screening approval. The project, located on Blackcomb Mountain will be the venue for the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton competitions. It features a 1,450-metre concrete track, refrigeration facilities and capacity for over 11,000 spectators.
A report by Scotia Economics, based on Statistics Canada data, found that the escalation of construction costs in the Vancouver were the highest in the country. Prices rose 7.7 per cent between the end of 2004 and the first quarter of 2005. The rest of the country is also seeing sharp rises, with a 6.4% jump over the same period. Steel product prices have increased 22%, and while concrete and cement are only increasing 4%, this is still roughly double the rate of inflation.

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