Few could argue that the recent sporting spectacle in London hasn’t been a roaring success for the UK, but while many of us focus on the fantastic results achieved by Team GB, it’s worth looking at the work that went into creating the visual spectacle of the Olympic Park itself.
Thanks to the work of the Institution of Civil Engineers in London (ICE London) the story of how the games were literally made, told by Sir John Armitt (Chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority), has been carefully documented and published online for all to see.
The story of its construction includes a cast of 30,000 engineering workers including architects, engineers and transport planners aiming to create a park to receive more than 500,000 spectators over the course of the games. The size of the construction and engineering team seems vast, but scale was vital to tackle a project of this magnitude, delivered against the clock in one of the world’s busiest cities.
For engineers, the stadium in many ways was just the outcome; some of the greatest challenges began long before the steel started to go up against the London skyline. 52 electricity pylons and 200 kilometres of cables of power-lines had to be removed and re-routed underground. 220 buildings demolished to create the space for the venues.
A huge amount of activity also took place underground. Tunnelling and construction work to create the infrastructure to support the park proved to be a mammoth undertaking. The cost of creating the infrastructure and the preparation of the brown field site was far greater than the cost of building the stadium. As one famous Londoner would no-doubt say – not a lot of people know that!
Ordnance Survey also played its part in the creation of the Olympic Park. Working closely with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and ICE London, we created a map of the venue using OS OpenData to clearly show the position of the main venues as well as the road, rail links and other utilities that formed the finished site.
Although the construction has long since finished, thanks to ICE London, the legacy of engineering effort and excellence that underpins the success of the games can still be seen. Please take time to explore the park and witness the work itself in terms of transport, energy, water and waste disposal that went into delivering the success of theLondon games.
Here’s the film to help you learn more:
ICE’s contribution to the ODA’s Learning Legacy can be found here: www.ice.org.uk/learninglegacy
All images shown are copyright Olympic Delivery Authority.