Sapporo City Council Weighs Proposal for $6.5 Million Supplementary Budget to Resurface 8.7 km Segment of 2020 Olympic Marathon and Race Walk Courses
On Dec. 9 the Sapporo City Council heard a proposal for a 700 million yen [~$6.5 million USD] supplementary budget to cover costs of roadwork on the 2020 Olympic race walk course and as yet not fully determined marathon course. 8.7 km of the 10.7 km of the courses under city jurisdiction were judged to need repair work ahead of the Olympics. The road work would be set to begin in early March next year with a target completion date by the end of May.
With regard to the events' courses, on Dec. 4 the IOC executive board reached a final agreement on the race walk courses along Sapporo Ekimae street, but they only approved of the first 20 km of organizers' proposed marathon course. The 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee aims to have the rest of the course settled before the end of the month.
The city's calculation for the road work expenditures in its proposal was based only on the first 20 km of the marathon course. The Organizing Committee had requested the Sapporo city government repair any damaged sections of roadway to prevent injuries to athletes. The city plans to use a method known as "overlay" in which the surface of the road is cut and then repaved.
Alongside the city government's deliberations, the Japan Racing Association announced that it is shifting its summer racing schedule due to the relocation of the Olympic marathons. The JRA's annual Hokkaido Series was scheduled to be held for 12 days in Hakodate followed by 14 days in Sapporo, but with the 2020 Olympic marathons and race walks recently rescheduled to be held in Sapporo from Aug. 6 to 9 the JRA has been forced to cut it to 6 days in each city this time.
"We have made this change in order to be able to still conduct our horse racing events to perfection while cooperating with the smooth operation of the Olympic Games," commented series director Kazuto Kimura. As one effect of the change, the Triple Crown component of the Hakodate/Sapporo eight-competition award has been altered from its usual format, with the Hakodate Sprint S shifted to Sapporo and the Queen S and Elm S switched to Hakodate.
Translator's note: The above amount is not included in the estimated ~$100 million USD cost of relocating the Olympic road events to Sapporo, and apparently doesn't include costs of road work on sections of the course not under city jurisdiction. If the marathon course is eventually finalized, additional funds are likely to be necessary for work on the remaining 22 km.
translated by Brett Larner