Stopping 24-hour construction on the new 22-billion-kroner Metro City Ring could delay the project's completion by up to six years and increase costs by nine billion kroner, the metro-construction overseer, Metroselskabet, has warned.
In June, the City Council approved an application to extend the working hours at a number of the building sites in order for Metroselskabet to meet the planned 2018 completion of the City Ring.
Noise-affected residents complained, however, and since July the company has been forced to stop weekday work at 6pm rather than 10pm at several construction sites – Østersøgade, Rådhuspladsen, Gammel Strand, Sønder Boulevard and Copenhagen Central Station – while 24-hour construction at Marmorkirken has also ceased.
Residents near construction sites who are affected by elevated noise levels have been offered compensation and money to instal sound insulation in their homes.
But not everyone is satisfied and residents near Nørrebroparken have lodged a complaint against allowing 24-hour construction at that site as well. According to Berlingske newspaper, the complaint cites the risk of stress that nearby residents could face from the elevated noise levels.
In a letter to its owners – Copenhagen City Council, Frederiksberg Council and the Ministry of Transport – Metroselskabet argues that the tunnel boring machines operating out of the Nørrebroparken site are meant to operate 24-hours a day, and making them start and stop would reduce productivity by 75 percent and have “far-reaching and unforeseen consequences for the project’s time plan and economy”.
During the six months it will take the environment appeals board, Natur- og Miljøklagenævnet, to process the complaint, after-hours construction in Nørrebroparken must be halted which effectively stops the tunnel-digging process in its tracks.
Metroselskabet calculates that a one-year delay will cost up to 1.5 billion kroner, and unless 24-hour and extended working hours are resumed, the City Ring may not open until 2024, a full six years behind schedule.
A spokesperson for the complaining Nørrebroparken residents is reportedly willing to discuss the problem with Metroselskabet and is demanding that noise levels are reduced by 10 to 15 decibels.