It’s not a joke. After almost 7 years under construction the future arena of Zenit and 2018 World Cup managed to reach only the 35%-mark, according to regnum.ru. But now things should speed up a lot.
Sergey Kopyl, chief engineer at Zenit Arena construction site informed regnum.ru that the new stadium is ready in roughly 35%, indicating that tremendous work still needs to be done in order to meet tight deadlines, already changed several times.
The stadium was initially planned for opening in… 2008. Since then various changes were introduced in the design, some of them forcing contractors to destroy elements already built and start anew. This was one of the factors leading to skyrocketing cost increase and making the new 2018 World Cup stadium one of the world’s most expensive.
Still, the 35% estimate seems a very severe number, judging by the massive concrete bowl growing on site. Most of the concrete works are done, which is major importance in rough climate of Saint Petersburg, where temperatures during long months prevent workers from pouring concrete. Currently installation of prefabricated steps began in upper sections of the future stands.
According to Kopyl work will now go a lot faster than previously, though changes in the design are expected as late as April 2014. These shouldn’t be major ones, though. According to the engineer, completion of the stadium should come in late 2015, but opening no soo0ner than in 2016.
Federal audit chamber gave a less optimistic estimate in mid-May, stating that 2016/17 is a more realistic scenario. However, after carrying out another visit to the site, the chamber agreed that the official deadline is also possible.