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Olympic park remediation to accelerate

Soil remediation and landscaping are to accelerate prior to construction work for the 2012 Olympic Games in East London to begin in the summer.

According to ODA Director of infrastructure and utilities Simon Wright: "Now that demolition work is complete on the sites of the 'Big Five' Olympic Park venues, over 1.5M cubic metres of soil – enough to fill 600 Olympic sized swimming pools - needs to be excavated, tested and cleaned where necessary.

"This soil will then re-used to help create the landscape of the largest new urban park in Europe and form the platforms for the venues for the 2012 Games and the future development.

"We said that by Beijing 2008 the majority of the Olympic Park would be cleared and cleaned. This is a challenging target but we have made strong progress so far and are on track to deliver," he said.

Two large remediation plants have been built on the Olympic Park site, with machines to wash, sieve and shake out contaminants such as petrol, oil, tar and heavy metals such as arsenic and lead from the soil.

600,000 tonnes of soil will be moved to help create the construction platform for Olympic Stadium alone. Some parts of the Olympic Stadium site will have to be lowered by nine metres while others areas need to be raised by five metres.

This work will intensify over the coming weeks in order for construction to start on the Olympic Stadium two to three months earlier than planned.

Another soil washing machine has been ordered to help meet the demand and together they will clean approximately 750 tonnes of soil per day.

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