International inspectors will lay the last piece of turf in the Populous-designed Olympic Stadium today (29 March) as they begin a check-up of preparations for the London 2012 Games
Former sprinter and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Frankie Fredericks, a four-time silver medallist and the 1993 200m world champion, will be among those doing the honours at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.
Fredericks is part of the IOC co-ordination commission which is making its eighth London inspection ahead of the Games.
Work on the showpiece £490 million Olympic Stadium began in May 2008 has been hailed as a ‘huge milestone’ for the £9.3 billion Olympic project.
:: The 80,000-seater stadium for the Games is to be shrunk to a 60,000 venue for football, athletics, concerts and community use, and the new home of West Ham football club after 2012. West Ham’s proposals are part of a joint bid with Newham Council.
:: The stadium stands 60m (197ft) high above the field of play and has an 860-metre (2,821ft) perimeter.
:: More than 800,000 tonnes of soil - enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall nine times over - had to be taken away and 33 buildings on the site had to be demolished before construction could begin.
:: More than 5,250 people have worked on the project since construction started in May 2008, with the workforce peaking at 650.
:: More than 240 businesses, from Devon to Scotland, have been involved with the stadium build.
:: More than 5,000 reinforced concrete columns were installed into the ground, up to 20 metres (65ft) deep, to provide the foundations to support the stadium structure.
:: The cable net roof provides the correct conditions for the competitors and covers two-thirds of spectators. The roof is covered by 112 panels of white material, totalling 25,000 square metres (270,000 sq ft), and a team of 23 expert abseilers fitted the fabric.
:: The stadium will be lit by 532 floodlights housed in 14 towers to ensure the sporting action is lit well enough to meet high-definition TV standards. The top of the towers reach 70 metres (230ft) above the field of play.
:: It took a 650-tonne crane 14 days to lift the 14 lighting towers, which each weigh 34 tonnes and are 28 metres (92ft) high, into place in March last year.
:: There will be around 700 rooms and spaces within the stadium, including changing rooms and toilets. The fit-out work has required 15,000 square metres (161,000 sq ft) of plasterboard, 140,000 blocks to create walls, 11km (6.8 miles) of pipes for drainage, 338km (210 miles) of power cables plus 33km (20 miles) of other data systems cabling and 12km (7.5 miles) of ventilation ducts.
:: The turf for the field of play was grown in Scunthorpe and was laid over a period of three days this month.
:: The black and white stadium seats were made in Luton and fitted between May and December last year.
:: The stadium design and construction team has been led by Sir Robert McAlpine, with Populous as the architect and Buro Happold as the designer of the civil, structural and building services work. Hyland Edgar Driver were the landscape architects. The planning consultant was Savilles Hepher Dixon.