On this cool mid-January morning, from the Maison du Projet, at the foot of the 23 remaining cranes of the Athletes’ Village site in Saint-Denis, Nicolas Ferrand, Executive Director General of the Solideoappears serene.
“At the end of this year 2023, we will have delivered 89% of the (64, editor’s note) works entrusted to us”, he underlines. At 18 months from the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the Olympic works delivery company is therefore approaching a final straight line, “within the deadlines, budgets and ambitions announced in 2018”, specifies this engineer from the Ponts et Chaussées.
For this year 2023, the delivery has already begun with the inauguration of a school in Le Bourget, on January 3, in a concerted activity zone (ZAC) of 70 hectares (1,400 housing units in the long term) which will host the media village during the Games. On this site, “15 sports facilities will be built or renovated”, adds the DG. On the program, in particular, a football pitch and three clay tennis courts, which will also have a grandstand.
Beyond that, the juggernaut of the Olympic construction site naturally concerns the Athletes’ Village: 52 hectares, 2,800 housing units after the Olympic Games and 6,000 employees, for what constitutes the “largest single-site construction site in France”, according to Nicolas Ferrand.
In April, a student residence will open its doors, with the reception of the very first inhabitant of this new district, in this case the caretaker of the residence. Then the handovers will follow one after the other, such as the reception of the bridge linking Saint-Denis to L’Ile-Saint-Denis in September or the delivery of a new school in Saint-Ouen.
At the end of 2023, all the buildings of the Athletes’ Village will be delivered to the Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Cojop). “Excluding reserves”, takes care to specify Nicolas Ferrand. Which must then be lifted at 1is mars 2024.
Among the other works, the Olympic mountain bike track on the Elancourt hill will be delivered by the summer, before the organization of a test event in September 2023. In Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône), the nautical stadium – the Marina du Roucas Blanc – should be accepted by the cojop during this first quarter, before a “test event” in the summer. As for the Olympic aquatic center (CAO), near the Stade de France, it should be put in water, for tests, in September 2023, before its delivery in April 2024.
To Greater Paris Development
In the end, the Arena Porte de la Chapelle, where the badminton competitions will take place, is the only equipment subject to delays. “We were to receive the framework in August and it only arrived in December”, slips Nicolas Ferrand. “The schedule is tight but playable” for delivery at the end of 2023-beginning of 2024.
For Solideo, the delivery of the Olympic works will not mean the end of its mission. On September 10, 2024, the closing date of the Paralympic Games, “we will begin reversibility work”, he continues. In other words, “of transformation from the Olympic state to the classic”, like the accommodation of the athletes – devoid of a kitchen – turned into real residential apartments and offices. A phase that should last until September 2027.
In the meantime, at the end of 2025, this public establishment should be backed by Grand Paris Aménagement, as enacted by amendment to the bill relating to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.