London's Olympic opening ceremony will be held six years from today, but as yet I can see no sign of the stadium in which it will be held. This is partly because the view north from my window is currently blocked by trees, but mostly because nobody's started building anything yet. Thankfully this week the Olympic Delivery Authority have finally published 'Infrastructure Project Milestones' detailing how and when the stadium's construction will be staged [pdf]. If 'procurement deadlines' run to time then a Compulsory Purchase Order will be slapped on the remaining land by the end of the year, allowing 'remediation', 'vacant posession' and 'demolition' to follow soon after. Which makes this the Lower Lea Valley's last ordinary summer. Last chance to see.
Here's the Olympic Stadium timeline in summary: July 2005: London wins Olympics. Marshgate Lane's existing industry and wildlife instantly doomed. [photos] July 2006: Procurement begins. Lawyers get rich. Stadium site still physically untouched. July 2007: 'Land preparation' begins. Local area fenced off. Local businesses move out. Local trees bulldozed. July 2008: Proper construction work begins. Stadium starts to take shape, very slowly. July 2009: Evening Standard runs first of many "Stadium Deadline Crisis" headlines. July 2010: Stadium now recognisable but incomplete. Original industrial estate now unrecognisable. July 2011: Stadium ready. Practice events held (maybe a local school sports day, maybe not). July 2012:Opening ceremony (assuming nobody's buggered up the entire timeline by then). July 201?: Local residents allowed back into the new slightly-sanitised Olympic Park. Hurrah?