Metro construction delays could cost 1bn kr

Company behind the Metro expansion warns of steep costs associated with possible half-year delays and urges reconsideration

Complaints to the nature and environment appeals board, Natur- og Miljøklagenævnet, have resulted in the end of night construction at the Metro site at Øster Søgade in the Østerbro district.

Metroselskabet, the company that operates the Metro, warns of delays to City Ring construction that could cost close to one billion kroner after the second Metro site in a week was forced to halt night work.

”Obviously, the City Ring is in a very difficult and risk-laden situation now,” Henrik Plougmann Olsen, the head of Metroselskabet, told Berlingske newspaper. “The kinds of delays we are now facing can potentially generate some considerable costs because construction risks being completed later than expected.”

It was just a week ago that Metroselskabet was forced to stop construction at their site at Copenhagen’s Marmorkirken (Frederik’s Church) after 6pm due to noise complaints.

As it stands, the processing of the complaints by Natur- og Miljøklagenævnet could take up to six months, and all night work at the involved sites will be suspended.

“We have previously estimated that if we are delayed by a year, it will cost an extra 1.2 to 1.5 billion kroner. Six-month delays because of the processing times will probably result in half that amount,” Olsen said.

But the delays and resulting costs could rise even further.

Neighbours to Metro construction sites have the possibility to lodge further complaints until Monday, August 12. Additional complaints could further delay the construction plans.

Olsen argued that the delaying effects of the complaints were not part of the original construction framework given to Metroselskabet by the City Council and the company has therefore not planned for such a scenario. He urged the complaints tribunal to also consider the project and not just the neighbours.

“We're talking about a 22 billion kroner construction project and such a massive undertaking will always irk some affected neighbours,” Olsen maintained. “On the other hand, the City Ring will move 230,000 passengers every day, so they should consider both parties during this phase of the construction process.”

Olsen said he believed that his company has shown great understanding for the plight of its site neighbours and has made considerable efforts to limit inconveniences at their building sites. 

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