ANCHORAGE - After years of anticipation, skaters should be gliding around the new Olympic-size speedskating oval at the 15-acre Cuddy Family Midtown Park next week.
The 400-meter oval is part of $4.4 million in Cuddy Park projects that include a pond, a large lawn and a garden with a public plaza and benches. The oval will officially open at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday - just before the Alaska Speedskating Club takes the ice for a practice session - with a ceremony that includes hot cocoa.
Workers with the contractor Alpine Services have been adding layer upon thin layer of water to the oval and erecting curbs of ice since late October. They expect to be finished soon.
Some portions of the oval have as little as a quarter-inch of ice now, with 1 ½ inches throughout considered ideal.