London

Final turf laid at London Olympic 2012 Stadium‎

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Media captionRelieved Lord Coe heralds Olympic Stadium progress

Construction work on London's Olympic Stadium has finished.

International inspectors laid the last piece of turf on the field of the stadium, just under three years after building work began.

Inspectors will now begin a check-up of preparations for the London 2012 Games.

But London 2012 chairman Lord Coe said: "We wouldn't want anyone to run away with the idea that this stadium is ready to stage an Olympic track and field championship tomorrow."

He added: "With one year and a few months to go, this is a great place to be."

There were about 700 rooms inside the venue which still needed to be completed, he said.

The surface of the running track will be laid later this year at the stadium, which is to be taken over by West Ham football club once the Games are over.

This is so the track is not damaged by cranes which may have to be used to install equipment for the Games and its ceremonies.

Completion of the building work at the stadium, which began in May 2008, is a "huge milestone" for the £9.3bn Olympic project, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) added.

The building work had an "exemplary safety record", the ODA said.

John Armitt, chairman of the ODA which is in charge of the build and infrastructure, said: "The Olympic Stadium has been finished on time and under budget.

"To complete a complicated project such as this in less than three years is testament to the skill and professionalism of the UK construction industry."

Rod Sheard, from the stadium architect Populous, said the work had taken just over 1,000 days.

"In the world of major construction it could be considered a sprint," he said, adding: "Its completion marks the beginning of the end of the construction phase of London's Olympic Games."

The design and construction team was led by Sir Robert McAlpine, with Buro Happold as the designer of the civils, structural and building services work.

The turf has been grown in Scunthorpe from a special blend of perennial ryegrass, smooth stalk meadow grass and fescue grass seeds.

A total of 360 rolls of turf were needed to cover the infield, which measures 9,000 sq m (96,875 sq ft).

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