LONDON – A new park on the site of the 2012 London Olympics won't fully open to the public until a year and a half after the games, authorities said Friday.
Olympic authorities have announced detailed plans for the 560-acre site, which will be dubbed the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The park, including a lush river valley, biking trails, a tree-lined promenade and a series of sports, arts and business venues, will open in stages -- the first a year after the games in July 2013 and the second at Easter 2014.
Andrew Altman, head of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said it would take a "huge construction project" costing $807 million to transform the east London site.
On Friday, officials declared the completion of a centerpiece of the park -- the 0rbit, a 377 feet looped and twisting steel tower that will give visitors panoramic views across the city.
Some critics have called the bright red structure an eyesore, but artist Anish Kapoor, who designed it, says he finds it beautiful. And, he notes, the Eiffel Tower was considered a monstrosity by many when first built.