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Murray & Roberts / WBHO: Green Point Stadium January 10 www. bus- ex. com 35 to become a part of the process and communication with the local community in particular has been a high priority." Just as the general mood in South Africa regarding the World Cup has strengthened from one of apprehension to general optimism that everything will be completed on schedule, so too has public opinion swung round in favour of Green Point. " The area is one of faded splendour," explains Walsh. " Most people see the stadium as an integral part of rejuvenating the district- where the waterfront is already a tourist destination- and it's likely that Green Point will again become a more upmarket residential address as a consequence." Once construction got underway, it presented no more challenges than would any comparable project. The ground was something of an issue, made up largely of broken shale. " It's always the case in situations like this," says Walsh, " of how much you need to remove until you find solid bedrock. The cost implications of bigger foundations are at the forefront of everyone's mind." Being part of a residential district, sound was an issue both during construction and in overall design terms. Construction had a 7pm curfew so as not to disturb residents more than necessary. The stadium has been designed with a three-quarter extending glass roof, protecting spectators but leaving the playing area open to the elements. While construction has been designed to reduce noise levels, they won't be eliminated completely. Local residents will be well aware when a goal is scored but not unduly bothered otherwise. Countless billions of rand have been spent on upgrading infrastructure and facilities that will have lasting benefit to the local population as well as visitors- of which there are going to be a lot. Immediately after the draw was made in early December, it was reported that 250,000 tickets had been sold. At the start of the work, Murray & Roberts saw the project as a way of re- establishing its civil construction capabilities in a part of the country that had been somewhat bypassed when it came to major investments. The World Cup was seen as a springboard for further redevelopment of the waterfront over and above the hotels built around World Cup needs. There was also talk about extending the existing nuclear power plant. The recession, though, has put paid to such grandiose schemes, at least for the short term. There are still major construction projects taking place, however. In Gauteng, the state electricity commission Eskom is building 12 new boilers which will keep the construction pot bubbling along; but it could be a while before Cape Town sees again the same level of activity as it has for the past few years. - Editorial research by Vincent Kielty

alchemy act An of 36 www. bus- ex. com January 10