Mayor unhappy with halt to Metro night construction

Frank Jensen says that stopping night work will only cause added costs and further delays

Copenhagen's mayor Frank Jensen (Socialdemokraterne) said it is "unbalanced" that a single resident’s complaint can force a halt to night work on the new Metro City Ring and that halting the work will only lead to city residents enduring construction for longer. 


In June the City Council granted Metroselskabet, the company behind the Metro, the right to extend work at several of its construction sites beyond the previously set 6pm construction stop and work around-the-clock in order to meet its 2018 deadline. The ruling was later contested by Natur- og Miljøklagenævnet, the environmental appeals committee, following complaints from several neighbours to the construction sites who claimed that noise levels were too high and that the 24-hour construction was illegal. 


“I believe there are many who should think things through more thoroughly," Jensen told public broadcaster DR. "Seeing as how the committee has not made a final decision, but has just decided that work is suspended while the complaints are being processed, then I feel that it is very important that the committee works hard and fast to look into the greater economical and practical consequences of their decision.” 


Metroselskabet has argued that halting night work might cause a six-month delay and one billion kroner in added costs, given that even if the final ruling is in the company’s favour, it might take the committee  six months to reach a decision. In the meantime, all evening and night work is suspended. 


Jensen urged the committee to prioritise complaints dealing with the Metro and to understand the costs that are involved.


“I can completely support the citizens’ right to complain and those complaints should be looked into,” he told DR. “But I cannot understand why we haven’t found a more balanced way to deal with the matter. As this construction site is in fact a construction site, and everyone has known that it will generate noise and annoyance, that was the reason we put aside 100 million kroner to compensate those affected.” 


He adds that the work stops will only add to the overall construction time and therefore result in all residents of the capital enduring the construction for even longer.