Given the opportunity to walk 40 metres underneath the ground to observe the ongoing construction of the extension of the Copenhagen Metro was quite the adventure!
For somebody who’s relatively new to the city, it was definitely exciting to check out something so unusual.
And I’m sure the next time I’m asked how much of Copenhagen I’ve seen so far, I’ll joke around a little and list the popular destinations, adding the Metro construction tunnels at the end to top it off.
Improved access for all
Nette Engbo Kamper, the press consultant of the Metro company, Metroselskabet, accompanied me on the visit, providing information about its development.
Once completed, she contended, the new line will tie the city together and make everywhere more accessible.
In many cases, it will replace existing bus lines – especially in the Frederiksberg and Kongens Nytorv areas – which should save people a lot of time walking and transferring to different transport systems.
The tunnel king
We were joined by the head of tunnelling, Simon Taylor, who has been working for the Cityring line since the beginning of the year. He led the tour through the tunnels, explaining the technical processes that are a crucial part of the project.
Taylor is in charge of the supervision team on the Metro project, which involves monitoring the activities to ensure they are on schedule and of a high quality while also making sure that safety precautions are being followed.
A calming presence
It was only under his supervision that I started to finally feel at ease walking around the tunnels without any hesitation. It pleated my concerns that something might suddenly fall down!
While passing through the tunnel, I was able to observe the workers in action. According to Taylor, about 14 men work for 24 hours in divided shifts just in this shaft at Nørrebroparken alone.
Dealing with complaints
Due to the number of complaints received about the noise, one of the primary concerns of the Metro team is the welfare of the surrounding
They have hired workers, the so-called ‘Blue Men’, to work closely with the local community and deal with any complaints or issues that concern the people – no matter how small the issue is.
Of paramount importance
With the use of heavy equipment and potentially dangerous machinery, there is always the possibility that accidents might occur.
However, the Metro team has implemented a wide range of safety regulations, and there are refuge chambers that can accommodate the workers in the case of an emergency.
With four years of work remaining before the scheduled opening in 2019, let’s hope the chambers are never called into action.