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Bechtel team arrives to review Games plans

Olympic organizers are paying Bechtel Corp., one of the nation's top engineering and construction contractors, just under $50,000 to review plans for the 2002 Winter Games.

The San Francisco-based company will assess the Salt Lake Organizing Committee's plans to ready Olympic venues, which include spending $45 million at the Utah Winter Sports Park.The five-member team of specialists from Bechtel Corp. arrived in Salt Lake City on Wednesday and are expected to complete their study before the Christmas holidays.

SLOC Chief Executive Officer Frank Joklik said more consultants will be hired in the future. The committee is already spending up to $1 million for help from organizers of the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

"As the pace of work increases . . . it'll be more necessary for specific assignments to bring in outside consultants," Joklik said. "This is standard practice in the Olympics. Why? This is a four-year organization."

Joklik, who used Bechtel consultants during his tenure as the head of Kennecott Corp., said there's no way such an organizing committee can develop all of the expertise needed to host the Games.

Bechtel Corp. also worked with organizers of both the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles and the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain.