Until now, Jackson, along with many other contractors, has had to keep very quiet about its involvement in the construction of the Olympic Games. Understandably, the organisers wanted to ensure their official sponsors were guaranteed exclusivity, but now The Games are over, it's high time we let everyone know just how involved we were, and how proud we are as a company to have been part of it.
Jackson was responsible for no less than seven projects for the Olympic Games, the largest being the civils infrastructure for the Water Polo Venue, on the Olympic Park in Stratford. This included roads, drainage and structural concrete up to formation level. The plan was to carry out this work in three phases, however, the team started on the second phase in July 2011, and ended up working right through to the start of the games. Site Agent Colin Rowe said: "We thought we'd have some breaks in between the construction phases, but there was so much to do on the site, we managed to pick up extra work, and ended up staying on site for almost twelve months."
In addition to the Waterpolo works, Colin and his team also did the earthworks for the warm-up track, and installed a 'Bit Fall' fountain, which was one of two large scale water features installed on the park. Created by German Artist Julius Popp, the fountain consists of five waterfalls which create a continuous cascade of words, formed by hundreds of water droplets. The words are chosen at random from live news feeds by specialist software developed by Popp.
Off the park, Jackson was involved in various infrastructure projects to improve access to games venues including Coventry Stadium, Eton Dorney Rowing Lake, The ExCel Exhibition Centre and Park and Ride facilities across the South of England.
The most exciting of these projects was the floating walkway which was designed and constructed by Jackson to carry Olympic spectators across the Royal Docks to the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London. The unique design was made up of floating steel shipping containers, filled with polystyrene to provide the floatation. The containers were linked together and anchored at various points across the dock, and a 15m centre section was designed to move aside in order to let marine traffic pass through. The top of the containers were covered with a layer of polythene before a 125mm concrete walking surface was poured on top. This polythene layer will allow easy removal of the concrete, which means that the entire structure can be recycled in the future, when the walkway is decommissioned. The unique design of the pontoon is a first class example of innovative engineering, and the project has been nominated for the Constructing Excellence award for Innovation.
So there you have it...Jackson's construction contribution to London 2012. Granted, our projects weren't as high profile as building the Olympic Stadium or the aquatics centre, but for a medium sized, independently owned civil engineering firm, we certainly did ourselves proud.