Around-the-clock Metro construction halted

Environmental appeals board says city overstepped its bounds in extending work hours

July 31st, 2013 3:11 pm| by admin

The company behind the construction of Copenhagen’s Metro, Metroselskabet, must immediately stop all evening and night shifts at its site near Copenhagen’s Marmorkirken (Frederik’s Church).

A decision by Natur- og Miljøklagenævnet, the environmental appeals board, said that City Council was wrong to grant the company the right to work after 6pm. The board issued a temporary injunction stopping all night work.

In a decision on July 15, the city’s public works administration gave Metroselskabet permission for 24-hour workdays and noise levels of up to 78 decibels. The decision also stated that complaints from neighbours would not have a ‘suspending effect’ on work at the site. The environmental boards decision strikes down that ruling and means that Metroselskabet is bound to work under earlier guidelines which say that all work at the site must stop at 6pm.

The decision is a victory for neighbours who have contented all along that the round-the-clock work was illegal

"We welcome the decision,” Maya Glem, the head of the local residents' association, told Politiken newspaper. “City Council has completely ignored our wishes concerning this matter.”

Glem said that politicians took away the rights of citizens by allowing what has been called the noisiest construction project in Copenhagen history to work around the clock.

Night work at the site will remain stopped until the board makes its final decision, which could take up to six months. Work on the Metro is severely behind schedule at several sites, including Marmorkirken, and Metroselskabet had previously announced that around the clock work would continue until 2018. 

The decision by the environmental appeals board only affects the working hours at the Marmorkirken site. Metroselskabet can continue to work around-the-clock at two other sites and into the evening at various other locations.