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Games ramp up for big build with 1,000 on site

Demolition and preparation work in east London sees a third of Olympic sites cleared and tested

More than 1,000 workers are now on the 2012 Olympics site as demolition work gathers pace ahead of construction beginning in earnest next year.

Nuttall and Morrison are nearly three months into clearing the 246 ha complex with great stretches of the development now razed to the ground.

Two former accommodation blocks for the University of East London – the tallest blocks on the site – are due to come down this week and a bus depot will shortly be relocated to West Ham.

In all more than 250 buildings will be torn down with 40 having already been demolished and almost a third of the site now cleared.

Over 80 per cent of the site has been investigated with more than 2,250 deep boreholes and shallow trenches dug and tested.

The Olympic Delivery Authority wants work on the main stadium site and the aquatic centre to begin by the middle of next year. Chief executive David Higgins said tender documents for the aquatic centre are now out with a winner due to be chosen for the work by the end of the year.

Teams led by Balfour Beatty, French contractor Eiffel and German firm Hochtief are all chasing the deal which is going through RIBA stage D, the detailed proposals phase. This concludes with preparing and submitting the application for full planning permission.

Mr Higgins said the main 80,000-seat stadium is still at RIBA stage C – outline proposals – and is due to go to planning by the end of next month.

The ODA has dubbed this part of the work ‘Demolish, Dig, Design’ with ‘The Big Build’ timed to coincide with the start of next year’s Beijing Olympics.

Tenders for one of its ‘Big Four’ venues, the media centre, are due to go back at the end of the month. Teams featuring Carillion, Balfour Beatty, Bouygues and Norwest Holst are all chasing the deal.

Mr Higgins said the 121,000 sq m complex will be used for industrial, light industrial, warehouse and office space.