Olympic Park construction gets early start

By Richard High22 May 2008

Construction of the London 2012 Olympic Park has started

Construction of the London 2012 Olympic Park has started

Construction officially started on the London 2012 Olympic Park today as the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) began work on the Olympic Stadium - three months earlier than originally planned.

The work to create the permanent foundations for the Stadium was seen by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a visit to the site, when he also meet workers on site. In the next few years over a thousand workers will help build the venue.

The Stadium will be the centre-piece for the London 2012 Games with over 4 billion people across the world watching the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the track and field events.

Visiting the Olympic Park site, Prime Minister Brown said, "The early start to building work on the Olympic Park site is good news, taking us another step closer to 2012 and the regeneration of one of the country's most deprived areas. I have no doubt that the construction of the new permanent venues, infrastructure and transport links within the largest new urban park to be created in Europe for 150 years will be a catalyst for lasting social and economic change in east London."

The first phase of construction involves reinforcing the ground on which the Stadium will sit upon by inserting up to 4000 concrete columns into the soil. This forms the permanent foundations for the Stadium structure.

Through the autumn and winter of 2008, floor slabs will be laid for the base of the Stadium ‘bowl' and the lower tier structures, and the columns that support the pedestrian concourse level will be built.

Early in 2009 the erection of the steel structures that will support the Stadium roof will begin to rise, giving an indication of the final height and scale of the structure.

Olympic Stadium Facts & Figures:

- Over 1000 construction workers will be based on the Stadium site

- 33 buildings on the Olympic Stadium site have been demolished

- Over 800000 tonnes of soil has been taken away to help create the construction platform for the Stadium

- The Stadium is highly sustainable, containing around 10000 tonnes of steel - the lightest Olympic Stadium to date

- The total Stadium island site covers an area of 40 acres

- The Stadium is 53m high

- The Stadium roof covers an area of 24500 m2 - the equivalent to three and a half football pitches

The Team Stadium Consortium consists of:

- Construction Contractor - Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd

- Architect and sport venue design - HOK Sport Ltd

- Structural and building services engineer - Buro Happold

- Landscape architect - HED

- Planning consultant - Savills Hepher Dixon

The Stadium timeline:

- July '06: Search starts for build and design team

- Oct '06: Negotiations begin with Team Stadium

- Feb '07: Olympic Board gives statement on legacy

- July '07: Demolition starts on Olympic Stadium site

- July '07: MOU signed with Team Stadium

- Nov '07: Concept designs launched

- Dec '07: Stadium site clearance completes

- March '08: Sub-structure planning application given approval

- April '08: Contract signed and Team Stadium take over site

- May '08: Planning Application for super-structure submitted

- May '09: Construction starts

- 2011: Construction completes

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