A key footbridge in the centre of the Olympic Park has been lifted into place.
The Central Park footbridge spans the River Lea at a focal point between the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre, and features both permanent and temporary elements to integrate Games and legacy use.
The structure is being built by Lagan Construction from Belfast. Construction work started in March 2009 and the bridge is due to be completed by the end of 2010.
It features two footbridges linked by a central blade-like walkway, creating a ‘Z’ shape to the bridge that spans either side of Carpenters Lock, a unique 1930s historic structure on the River Lea.
During the Games a temporary deck will be placed between the permanent spans of the bridge to increase the width, allowing it to carry increased spectator numbers. The temporary Games-time bridge deck will be surfaced with a recycled rubber material featuring colours of the five Olympic rings.
The first structural steel elements of the Central Park bridge have now been lifted into place with an 8m-wide southern span weighing approximately 50 tonnes and a 6m-wide northern span weighing around 45 tonnes now installed.
Work to lift in the central blade-like walkway will take place later in the spring. The structural elements of the bridge will then be clad with mirror-finished stainless steel designed to reflect the sunlight off the water in the River Lea.
Work will also begin shortly on the temporary deck between the permanent spans of the bridge to increase the Games-time width of the bridge to 55m.
After the Games, the temporary elements will be removed and the areas around the bridge will be landscaped to create new meeting spaces and links above and below the bridge between the river tow paths, Carpenters Lock and the upper concourse in the Olympic Park.