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    Jiao Yang
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    Chen Qiwei
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Start date for next Disneyland stage

Shanghai Disneyland will start taking shape in the spring, with work set to begin on attractions, government officials said yesterday.

Preparatory work on the first Disneyland on the Chinese mainland began in April, with the theme park scheduled to open in 2015.

This stage of the project is set to cost 29 billion yuan (US$4.6 billion), including the park, hotels and leisure facilities. Other stages are planned afterwards.

Jiang Shujie, deputy director with the Shanghai Construction Commission, said nearly 3 billion yuan has been spent on preparatory construction.

This includes building roads and drainage systems, as well as sightseeing and traffic structures.

Preparatory work should be finished by the spring, after which builders can move on to Disneyland attractions, Jiang said.

Work has begun on a 10-kilometer waterway attraction that will enclose the site. A 5-kilometer stretch is currently being dug at the northwest of the site, Jiang said.

He added that two elevated roads connecting the site to the S1 and S2 highways are under construction and could open next April.

A Metro link will also be built.

Authorities have already revealed a rough plan indicating how Shanghai Disneyland could look, attracting great interest.

Jiang said the bidding process for the detailed design had begun, but did not elaborate on likely candidate designers.

The city said it has spent about 100 billion yuan this year on major government-backed construction projects.

These were mostly aimed at upgrading traffic and other facilities to boost the local economy.

Officials said there will be a substantial increase in next year's budget for similar work.

Around 30 tunneling machines are currently at work in Shanghai, as the city builds more subway lines and other tunnels, said the construction authority.

By 2015, the Metro network will have grown from 420 to 500 kilometers, said Jiang.