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Stadium earthworks under way

Earthworks on the London 2012 main stadium site were in full swing this week as site clearance and demolition reached the half-way point, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) revealed today.

As revealed by NCE in September, ODA contractors have cut 0.5Mm3 of earthworks from the sloping stadium site by building a bowl-like structure that makes the most of its landscape, rather than trying to level it out.

Ground levels vary across the Stadium site and some parts will have to be lowered by 9m while others areas need to be raised by 5m. Over the next few months around 600,000 tonnes of soil will be taken away from the site to help create the construction platform for stadium – the equivalent weight of around 27 aircraft carriers or 37 submarines.

Soil will then be used in other parts of the Olympic Park, in particular the Aquatics Centre site.

ODA chief executive David Higgins said: "We said that by Beijing 2008 the majority of the Olympic Park would be cleared and cleaned. This progress keeps the ODA on track to have the site of one of the 'Big 4' London 2012 venues ready for construction to start next summer."

Demolition started in July with 16 of the existing buildings on the site already knocked down and the rest due to be demolished by the end of the year.

Two temporary bridges are also about to be installed near the site, which is largely an island surrounded by waterways.

The ODA has already carried out ecological surveys and translocations of fish and newts from the stadium site as well as archaeological and excavation work.

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