"some of the great works of construction were nearing completion"

Both the "Colosseum" (or, as it was known in Hadrian's day, "the Flavian Ampitheatre"), begun under the Emperor Vespasian (reigned 69-79 AD), and the Temple of Venus and Rome, begun by Hadrian and completed under Antoninus Pius, were built on the site of Nero's "Golden House." This lavish residence was seen by Romans of the late 1st and early 2nd Centuries AD as symbolic of the excesses of the Neronian age, and Hadrian, like Vespasian and Titus before him, was keen to emphasise his role in turning back to public use (entertainment in the case of the ampitheatre, religion in the case of the temple) that which Nero had appropriated for his own private pleasures.

The Flavian Ampitheatre
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe Flavian Ampitheatre - Credit: Paul Zangaru

The ruins of the Temple of Venus & Rome, painting by Edward Lear (1840).
Public DomainThe ruins of the Temple of Venus & Rome, painting by Edward Lear (1840). - Credit: Yale Centre for British Art