The ODA has released images of what it is calling the main "Gateway to the Games" taking shape - a 250m long and 40m wide bridge, made with 1,700 tonnes of steel, which will form the roof of the Aquatics Centre training pool and be the main pedestrian access into the Olympic Park used by up to 200,000 people every day during the Games.
September 2009 Archives
A quick update on the formation of the Olympic Legacy Vehicle, but I'm afraid it's not that illuminating.
The LDA says that the vehicle will launch on 1 October.
However, it has not resolved key issues about how it will function yet, in particular whether the LDA retains the debt accumulated spending more than £1bn acquiring the land for the Olympic Park on its balance sheet or whether
No great surprise to see Tessa Jowell using her platform at the Labour Party Conference to laud current progress on preparing for the 2012 Olympic Games - there's not much else for Labour to get excited about after all.
There's no question that the entire project is being brought forward at a pace and has brought investment and jobs to a poor part of the country in the midst of hard times, and only the terminally cynical would criticise that.
I'm not expecting any one to do my job for me, honest, but any suggestions would be much appreciated.
You can expect to see a lot of the 2012 Olympic Legacy Delivery Vehicle's new chief executive Andrew Altman next week.
The vehicle is scheduled to launch this week and in response the various bods in the media covering the 2012 Games developments are being given a first chance to interview the man from Washington.
I'm not reading too much in to this - all right I am - but I am reliably informed that a scheduled meeting yesterday between Baroness Ford and Andrew Altman and the East London Business Alliance - the guys talking to potential tenants interested in moving to Hackney Wick's Olympics media centre after the Games - was cancelled.
Apparently the Legacy Vehicle duo were called in to another meeting and will reschedule shortly.
It adds to the view that the Olympics Legacy Vehicle's launch is being delayed by the ongoing negotiations over how it will operate and in particular whether the LDA keeps the land acquisitions debt on its books or the government takes it on.
I have spoken to a number of experts in such matters this week about just how easy it is to underestimate by £160m when you are working on a £1bn land acquisition programme.The answer from many quarters has been that it's by no means impossible.
The KPMG audit of how the LDA's Olympic Legacy Directorate handled the compulsory purchase of land for the 838-acre Olympics site in east London suggested that the £159.8m overspend occurred because of "poor record keeping and weak internal controls".
That may be the case but others in the profession feel the OLD management is being unfairly castigated without being afforded the opportunity to provide any explanation.
Good story in Building today about last-minute wrangling between the London Development Agency and the government over just how the soon-to-be launched Olympic Park Legacy Company should work.
To carry on the story a little I can reveal that the private session of the London Development Agency Board on Wednesday was unable to fully agree how best to transfer land and associated debt at the 2012 Olympics site to the new Olympic Park Legacy Company days away from the launch of the special purpose vehicle.
Building writes that the delay is being caused because the transfer of land cannot happen without working out what will happen to the debt accumulated buying £1.1bn of land at the Olympic site.
And so the twin drive to point the finger and avoid carrying the can continues.
The London Assembly has released a press release squarely blaming "internal processes" at the LDA for the Olympic land blackhole.
Dee Doocey, the chair of the Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee, said: "Once again this undermines confidence in and raises questions about internal processes at the LDA.
The public session of the LDA's Board meeting at its Palestra HQ this morning revealed divisions between Boris Johnson's office and senior LDA chiefs that are clearly going not healthy for the London 2012 Olympics.
I'll be focusing on this in some depth in this Saturday's Estates Gazette.
I think it was particularly alarming to hear Boris's policy director Anthony Browne (pictured) say that the LDA's plans for cutting back its budgets to cover the Olympic land funding shortfall as well as the expected cuts in government funding for the agency had only been presented to him five minutes before the meeting began.
Following on from this morning's City Hall session which saw the London Assembly Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee question senior LDA officials about the £160m budget shortfall for Olympic land acquisitions London Assembly Labour has issued a press release highlighting its main concerns.
Labour London Assembly Member John Biggs, in a clear attempt to share out the blame between the Livingstone administration and Boris Johnson's, has accused the latest incarnation of the LDA of "taking their eye off the ball" when monitoring the Olympic budget.
Well where does one begin with all of that.
This morning's London Assembly Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee grilling of senior LDA officials over the independent report by KPMG into costs involved in compulsorily purchasing land for the Olympics site prompted a giddying series of embarrassing disclosures.
Most worryingly, Peter Rogers and Harvey McGrath confirmed that the LDA is being forced to shelve key projects as well as ask central government for more cash and consider additional debt financing to plug the £159m budget shortfall.
The breakdown of projects that will be scaled back according to Rogers and my notes went something like this: the LDA will reduce its VisitLondon budget by £4m to £13m, has cancelled its London Pavillion project in Shanghai and has cancelled phased compulsory purchase payments in Wembley that were due this year.
This morning I will mainly be listening to the London Assembly Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee questioning senior representatives of the LDA about the £159m Olympic land budget shortfall, or "blackhole" as it is being termed.
Note to self. Never take a week off when you are writing a blog about the Olympics.
Just as I was sunning myself with my two-and-a-half year old son on a
The report, which you can view fully here, actually says pretty much what had been expected but it's still quite illuminating to see it all in black and white.
KPMG has found additional commitments not budgeted for of a whopping £159m.
As expected the LDA is blaming "historic management failures" rather than anything fraudulent.
According to the epolitix website the Cabinet is meeting at the Olympic Park today - the first time it has convened since it went into recess in July.
The site says that Prime minister Gordon Brown and Olympics minister Tessa Jowell will visit parts of the Olympic site to see its progress first-hand, while other Members of the cabinet are making a series of visits to local communities around the park.
I wonder if they will be meeting up with the Leabank Square residents?
I note with interest that John Biggs (pictured), the Labour Party London Assembly member, has tabled a question for Boris to answer about "Olympic slums" at Stratford.
We reported recently that Andrew Boff, the London Assembly Conservative Group's Olympic spokesman, has opened up the whole debate about the appropriateness of mixed-tenure courtyard developments for families by suggesting that the current proposals for the Athletes' Village would create "tenanted ghettos" and "Olympic slums". See our story here for his reasons.
I've been keen to get views on this and it seems Biggs is going to get a response from Boris.
Looking for some views on this one really. Again it's no great surprise that the government has for a second time backed the London Development Agency in a planning appeal that could have substantially increased the compensation bill for businesses relocated to make way for the 2012 Olympics Games.
But is it a fair decision?
I've reported on EGi News today that building group Landregal, advised by Montagu Evans and solicitor Fladgate, has lost it argument that the LDA is underpaying for its land, the 90,000 sq ft former King's Yard warehouses, at Carpenters Road, Stratford.
It has claimed that Newham council's policy framework supports the site being valued as suitable for residential or hotel use, rather than the lower-value employment use on which the LDA based its offer.
It launched a section 18 Appeal under the Land Compensation Act 1961 following a refusal by Tower Hamlets of a section 17 application for a Certificate for Appropriate Alternative Development of a site within the Olympic zone.
There was a tonic in this weekend's The Times for all those that are ploughing on with urban apartment blocks.
The paper's lead story in the business pages on Saturday reported that retiring couples are "riding to the rescue of developers trying to sell apartments in city blocks".
According to reports from Grosvenor and Berkeley, older folk looking for an exciting retirement as they downsize are picking up the slack left behind by the lack of first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors in the market just now for city centre apartments.
Perhaps that is the principal market that the Athletes' Village will attract to edgy Stratford post-Games.