Roof construction on the $720-million London 2012 Olympic Stadium began in late January when the first section went up. The U.K.’s Olympic Delivery Authority claims to be on track, but the global banking crisis is spoiling its party. The organization can’t secure as much private funding toward the $13.3-billion construction budget as forecast.

Game venues are on schedule but private money is tight for residential village.
Photo: ODA
Game venues are on schedule but private money is tight for residential village.

Game venues in the London Olympic Park are on schedule, says ODA. But funding negotiations with Australia’s Lend Lease Corp. for the public-private Olympic Village "are continuing," says David Higgins, ODA’s chief executive.

Lend Lease, based in Millers Point, New South Wales, leads a consortium to partially finance and develop the village, including 11 groups of five to seven residences. The consortium has struggled to raise sufficient funding, forcing the Dept. for Culture, Media and Sport to step in.

To compensate for the village’s funding shortfall, DCMS in January allocated $316 million from the Olympic Games’ overall construction contingency, on top of $136 million released last year.

Of the original $3.9-billion contingency fund, $2.1 billion remains. But falling construction inflation has helped keep the budget unchanged, claims Tessa Jowell, DCMS’s minister.

On site, ODA claims to be hitting all key milestones. The stadium climbed to roof level at the end of last month when the first 30-meter-long, 85-tonne piece of structural steel was craned up 37 m into place. It was the first of 28 assemblies that will form a compression ring around the stadium’s perimeter by this October. Cables stressed to this ring will support a roof, extending 28 m from the edge to cover two-thirds of the spectators.

Part of a design-build contract, the stadium will have 25,000 permanent seats and 55,000 more for the big ceremonies. A consortium including the contractor Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd., structural firm Buro Happold and architect HOK Sport clinched the contract in mid-2007.