Work gets under way to remove materials from site and build a lock and water control structure

The first stage of the Olympic waterway redevelopment has been completed.

Work on river walls from the 1930s are being carried out next to the site of the future aquatics centre. They will widen the bank by eight metres and see new walls being installed.

In a first phase, construction workers have drilled 700 steel piles 18m into the ground, each of which weighs 11 tonnes.

In a next stage the old walls will be removed and 70,000 tonnes of materials taken from the site.

The construction of a lock and water control structure is expected to finish this summer. The waterways will be used for freight traffic during construction.

David Higgins, chief executive of the ODA, commented: “The rivers and canals that intersect the Olympic Park and the surrounding area are currently polluted, neglected and under-used.

"As part of creating Europe’s largest new urban park for 150 years, we will regenerate the tow paths and waterways, remodelling over 3.5km of riverbanks, widening wetland areas, enhancing wildlife habitats and improving water quality and levels.

“These water courses are also an important part of our logistics strategy - we plan to use the waterways for the transport of construction materials during the Games, cutting down on the amount of lorries travelling on the roads.”