With the Zika virus kicking up rumpus in Brazil, there is growing discussion about moving the 2016 Olympics from Rio de Janeiro. However, the Olympics are so big and costly that few countries could attempt to take the Games with just six months to prepare. It’s a big ask.Beijing and London, host cities of the 2008 and 2012 Games, would probably be the best bets to take over if Zika forced Rio to defer. Both cities have the facilities and recent experience in organising the biggest multi-sport event in the world. With the schedule as tight as it is, those inputs are critical.One wonders whether all the other inputs could be mobilised in time. Volunteers play a huge role in running the sporting events and visitor hospitality, and by this stage their recruitment would need to be in top gear already. Even in the case of London, work might be needed to polish and shine the stadia that housed sporting contests four years ago. This requirement would be even greater for Beijing.Even so, their venue costs would be far less.Neither city may want to take up the challenge if Rio is out. Added to that, hosting the Olympics isn’t cheap. Beijing reportedly spent US$40 billion in 2008 and London shelled out US$13 billion in 2012. The Rio figure keeps morphing, but is probably some in-between the two. That’s not chump change.NO BEIJING OR LONDONWith the short time to prepare and the costs, it’s a good guess that Beijing and London won’t come running as substitute venues this year.If the Zika threat clears soon, the best bet will be for Rio to host the Games as planned. If the mosquito-borne virus infects the Games schedule, we could end up with an Olympics in 2017.With Brazil spending tons of cash to get ready, it’s going to be hard on that sports-loving nation to be left with a big bill, no Games and none of the financial benefits from increased tourism income.It follows then that if the Zika threat causes a postponement but is resolved by year end, the world’s best athletes could be doing the samba next summer. That’s the only solution that leaves Brazil with the Games it has worked so hard to prepare for.For everyone’s health and for the sake of the Games, we can only hope the Zika solution comes very quickly.n Hubert Lawrence attended the Games in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – B.C. Hydro has released the construction schedule for the Site C dam from April 4 to April 17. Residents in the area can expect more truck traffic in the area of the dam and near Chetwynd. Construction crews will mobilize, hauling of rock and timber continues, and as modular camp units are transported to site. See the full schedule below.The following construction activities are scheduled to occur April 4 – April 17:The main civil works contractor is expected to mobilize crews and equipment to the dam site area. This will include the preparation of site offices, a parking lot, and laydown and stockpile areas. Survey work and site investigations will occur on the north and south banks. Earthworks are expected to begin, including the construction of dikes and other work in the Peace River back channel on the south bank of the dam site. Excavation of the south bank drainage tunnel may commence.Construction of the worker accommodation lodge and other buildings will continue.Excavation and road construction will continue on the north bank of the dam site area.Excavation and in-river roadwork will continue in and around the Peace River at the dam site.Vegetation and tree clearing will occur in the area in and around the confluence of the Moberly River and along the Peace River.Riprap will be placed along sections of the shore on the south bank of the dam site.Clearing and other work will continue on the south bank, including the construction of access roads.Road maintenance activities will continue on the south bank petroleum development roads.Work will occur to construct the temporary substation on the south bank.Security gates and guard buildings will be installed in the dam site area.Crews will prepare to extend an existing distribution line on Old Fort Road to a building at the entrance of Myca Pit. This will include surveying, staking and some clearing.Operations will continue in Wuthrich Quarry.Vegetation and tree clearing will occur at Portage Mountain Quarry to accommodate future work.Contractors may mobilize to begin work on public roads.Geotechnical investigations will occur along the right-of-way for the 500 kV transmission line.Geotechnical investigations may occur along Highway 29 at Cache Creek/Bear Flat.Please note that all activities listed in this construction bulletin are based on the latest information in our construction plan and are subject to change.- Advertisement -What to ExpectWhile this work takes place, local residents can expect the following:There will be truck traffic on public roads as construction crews mobilize, the hauling of rock and timber continues, and as modular camp units are transported to site. This will include increased industrial traffic on resource roads and public roads from Chetwynd leading to the site on the south bank.Some noise and vibration will result from the periodic blasting that is occurring in Wuthrich Quarry.Some noise will result from the vegetation and tree clearing at Portage Mountain Quarry.Some noise will occur in the vicinity of the dam site and along public roads as a result of the scheduled construction activities. BC Hydro will continue to monitor noise levels.Early morning and/or night shifts may be scheduled, as well as shifts on the weekends.For boater and worker safety, boats will need to stay clear of active in-river work areas. These areas are clearly identified with signage and markings.There will be minor traffic delays while upgrades are completed on public roads. read more