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The starter's pistol for the construction of the 2012 London Olympic stadium will sound by the end of this month.

An OJEU notice for the much-anticipated contract to design and build the sporting arena will be issued within three weeks.

Civil servants at the Olympic Delivery Agency are currently preparing the final draft of the document.

When the OJEU goes on the market it will precede the appointment of the delivery partner, a move that has left some observers surprised.

This means that architects, contractors and engineers will start to circle the scheme far sooner than expected, attempting to form teams that can deliver the stadium.

It is likely that many of the large main contractors and architects will put in a bid to win the work.

There can be no doubt that Foreign Office Architects, Allies and Morrison and HOK Sport, the joint creators of the visualisation seen above, will throw their hats into the ring.

The trio worked with landscape firm Edaw on the concept designs of the stadium that were integral to winning the 2012 bid.

It is understood that none of the three have taken part in drawing up the brief for the project or the OJEU notice - so as not to preclude themselves from winning the actual design work.

However, it would be a surprise if many other big names didn't enter the contest, which could become a hotly contested encounter between the larger international firms.

Norman Foster, for example, has recently won plaudits for his designs at Wembley Stadium, despite the widely reported construction problems on the project.

According to Jason Prior, a partner at Edaw, and the man credited with conceiving much of the masterplan, design work is now continuing apace on the Olympic park.

'It is all going very well, ' he told the AJ. 'We're working towards getting the release of the land imminently.

'If you were to see what we're working on now then in the broadest sense it is similar to where we were when we won the bid, but there are significant changes.

'We have been out to see what the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne were like, for example, ' Prior added.

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