Original article: Changsha evening news

Translated & edited by WNIC (Ben Wilkinson)

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Xiangjiang Amusement Town (Xiangjiang Huanle Cheng) is Hunan province's innovative, massive integrated travel industry project, covering a total area of 1.6 square kilometers, with the overall area of the buildings covering around 500,000 square meters, and with a total sum of over 12 billion Yuan invested in the project. The project formally began on the 18th of July 2014 and is planned to be finished by May 2016. 

Once the project has been finished, it will overtake Guangzhou's Chimelong amusement park and Shenzhen's OCT east amusement park becoming a national travel industry giant, with a maximum capacity of being able to receive 100,000 visitors in one day, and will exceed 15 million visitors per year, with a yearly gross profit of around 3 billion yuan.

The total area of the Xiangjiang Amusement Town's winter world project's buildings will cover 97,000 meters squared, with a total amount of around 2 billion yuan invested, it will be comprised of two parts; a snow area and a water amusement park. It will be the world's only snow park which is suspended above a chasm.

The snow area of the winter world has a total amount of around 1.8 billion yuan invested in it, and has the world renowned architect Wolf D. Prix personally leading construction, it will be the largest indoor snow park to this day, and it will also be the only snow park which is suspended above a chasm.

Different graded snow trails, and a sliding rail going around the chasm with two connected "Alpine towns", and a combination of lots of new and unique winter world equipment will create a new personal winter wonderland experience.

The water park has had a total of 300 million Yuan invested in it, and has been designed by the world famous Forrec entertainment design firm, there will be a large 60,000 square meter outdoor area, and a 20,000 square meter indoor area. The water park will be tropical island themed, and there will be a unique suspended slide by the chasm which will give visitors a never-before experienced excitement. The indoor park will avoid the climate's affect on the visitor's enjoyment and will be open in all weather, ensuring that visitors will be able to have a good time all-year round.

Along with the winter world, Xiangjiang Amusement Town will also include an entertainment square, an entertainment street, a hotel, an entertainment jungle, a lake and a Xiangjiang goddess park.

The entertainment street's building area will cover a total of 100,000 square meters, and is being designed by the American company Gensler. It's theme will be retail, dining and cultural art and creation as its theme. The north section of the street will have a KTV, Movie theater and other amusements which will form the street's entertainment plaza. There will be performances around the street which will give visitors enjoy the charm and character of the street. Right now they are still in the clearing phase of building for this area, construction started in October 2014 and is set to be finished by May 1st 2017.

With a total of 1 billion yuan invested in it, and designed by the American theme park company RVJA. The jungle and valley park will add a sense of adventure and exploration , and has been designed for the enjoyment of different aged visitors, and will be introducing the newest and most advanced entertainment equipment in the world. It is set to open in May 2015.

The entertainment square is the whole town's hub  and entrance gate, with an area of 40,000 square meters, and a large, two-floored car park designed underneath, the car park will link up the other area's car parks to form a whole, it will have the capacity of 4000 cars at any one time. Designed by the American landscape design company SWA, it will have three-dimensional plant beds, a layered water system, a themed square, and a large screen in order to create both a daily leisure area and a festive celebration area.

Transforming a barren mining pit  into the worlds largest indoor winter park, as you can imagine is no easy feat.

"Making a large-structured building inside a one-hundred meter deep chasm, where the structure is surrounded by cliff-face is as one can imagine, a hard task." The vice-chief engineer of the Xiangjiang entertainment town Huang Hu, told the reporter.

The total area of the buildings at Winter World will be 97000 square meters, with a total of 2 billion yuan invested in the project, and will be split into two parts; a snow area and a water park. "The topographical and geological conditions here are complex, during the project we need to overcome many problems, and there is no other project from within China where comparisons can be drawn from" Said Huang Hu.

"Originally there was ten meters of water collected at the bottom of the chasm, we spent a few months just taking the water out." Huang Hu says, as the chasm isn't natural they had to first undergo maintenance on the walls in order to keep them stable. To ensure worker safety during the project and to maintain structural stability, the project department  have adopted a "low disturbance" blasting method, the distance between charges, the amount used, the route of the charges, and even the charge's case have all been very strictly controlled.

From April this year when they first started reinforcing the walls, up to the present where they have already generated around 200,000 cubic meters of rubble, the project department will transport some of the rubble away, some of it will also be used within the chasm in order to solidify  and help form the paths and material piles.

What will this  world- only suspended winter park look like in the future?

Huang Hu says that beneath Xiangjiang Amusement Town's Winter World is a 60 meter tall, 60,000 cubic meters of concrete strong pillar and shear wall used as structural support, supporting a giant concrete bridge structure and ski platform, on top of this is a 34 meter tall, 18,000 ton steel structure which will act as the winter world's main building, on top of the roof of this building is the water park.

Regarding the whole look of the completed building, Huang Hu stated: "The whole building is like a lid on top of the mining pit. As the bottom of the chasm's area is around 20,000 square meters, with a 60 meter high platform with an area of 28,000 square meters, and the roof of the structure has an area of 30,000 square meters, from a distance it looks like a morning glory flower on top of the chasm."

This project has been really hard from design through to the actual implementation, in order to guarantee progress and safety, we've had to hold 20 meetings with specialists." Said Huang Hu, every day, they've had to simultaneously communicate and discuss the project's progress and  details with all the different department.

According to The Fifth Construction Office of China construction company's Xiangjiang Amusement Town Snow World's construction project manager Zhou Zhi Qiang, everyday the first hard part of work is having to walk over half an hour to the bottom of the almost one hundred meter deep chasm, sometimes if he's lucky he may be able to catch a ride on a vehicle going the same way, that also takes over 10 minutes. Everyone has it this hard getting down to the bottom, let alone the construction materials.

The bottom of the mine is currently undergoing preliminary digging, the numbering nearly one hundred workers are working hard to finish this stage of the project as quickly as possible.

Zhou Zhi Qiang said, the process of the project's current work is facing lots of problems, first of all the bottom of the mine out is very cramped, which is not beneficial for carrying out this sort of work. Moreover, due to the cramped conditions it has brought about lots of problems with the transportation of materials. "Normally, heavy goods vehicles drive on a slope of 10 degrees, but here they must drive on slopes of 12 degrees or more, this means that the drivers require a much higher level of skill."

Because it's the bottom of a pit, not only do the workers face the risk of flooding, but also have to deal with the water which builds up from heavy rain. Zhou Zhi Qiang says, they have installed 20 water pumps around the mine in order to continuously pump the water out, "Even if we had the worst rain for the past fifty years, we can guarantee that we'll be able to pump out all of the water within 8 hours.

Another real problem is the concrete pump, the disparity from the top of the chasm to the bottom is nearly 100 meters, the concrete pump needs to pump the concrete around 200 meters, if they tried to pump too much concrete at one time it may cause a pipe blockage, a pipe explosion, a tear or some other type of set back. Specialists are currently trying to think of a way to specifically solve this problem.

"Regarding this type of winter world project, with so many world firsts and world bests, is the type of project that we will maybe only experience once in our lifetime." Zhou Zhi Qiang said, although the project faces many issues, he still sees this project as an extremely valuable experience, he can't wait to see the way the people come pouring in once the project has been completed.

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Original article here