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... While Farrell reveals new canal system to meet 2012 construction transport needs - image

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Terry Farrell has unveiled the first images of a new canal project which could help reduce heavy traffic on roads during the construction of London's 2012 Olympic Games.

The £18.5 million lock and water-control structure on the Prescott Channel in Bow, east London, will effectively open up the waterway to massive, 350-tonne barges, meaning that hundreds of lorry journeys a week can be saved.

Backed by British Waterways, the project has been designed in collaboration with Bennetts Associates, Clague Architects, engineers Tony Gee & Partners and Weetwood Environmental Engineering.

The scheme includes twin water-control gates and a 62 x 8m tidal lock and will re-instate a historic sluice - changes that will allow construction materials to be ferried into the heart of the Games' site. The Olympic Development Authority has set ann ambitious target stating that at least half of the building transportation needs should be met by 'sustainable means'.

Farrell said: 'We see this project as hugely important in the wider London context as it enables a gateway to the Olympics.

'The restoration programme is one which we fully support, since it is essential that we make the river navigable for people.'

He added: 'By introducing a landscape intervention - a landscape ribbon - art, different surfaces, textures, trees and lights can all be incorporated.

'The overall impact is to provide a striking sense of arrival to the Olympic Village. Our masterplan concept celebrates the importance of the water-control structures leading the regeneration of the River Lea valley.'

by Richard Waite

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