Parades and traffic restrictions aren’t the only things springing up because of the October 1st holiday. It seems that parks are too: the area around the Tonghui River just south of Jianwai Soho on the southeast Third Ring Road is getting a makeover in time for the 60th Anniversary celebration.
The project has been a long time coming – plans to beautify this part of Tonghui He have been around at least a decade (a "park view" was touted as a selling point for southward facing units in the Soho compound as early as 1999) and the project was supposed to be done in time for last year’s Olympics, which didn’t quite happen.
This year, however, it very much is. Just a month ago, the river banks east and west of this stretch of the Third Ring Road were rubble-strewn lots. Prior to that they were home to a few long running restaurants, including Huang Cheng Lao Ma (a hotpot restaurant) and Le Cafe Igosso on the eastern side and the structure that once housed the old Decathalon sporting goods store and until recently a Si Ji Qing mutton hot pot restaurant.
Like many construction projects here in the capital, the speed at which these lots have been transformed into an almost-done park has been incredible. Trees and even a wooden gazebo were planted and erected literally overnight, and the stone steps and decorative column have gone up almost as quick. Locals claim that the park is slated to be completed by as early as next weekend – based on these shots that were taken yesterday, it seems that there is still much to be done, but at the rate they’re going, it is entirely feasible.