On again, off again Metro night work back on

City Hall has given the go ahead for controversial after hours work to re-start at most construction sites; pending appeals board ruling could halt such work again

The city has once again changed its mind about around the clock the work at several Metro building sites throughout the city.

The decision by the Technical and Environmental Department today gives the green light for evening and night work on the 17-station City Ring extension of the city’s underground railway to start again at sites on Øster Søgade, Gammel Strand, Hovedbanegården and Søndre Boulevard.

The city cited the potential for delays and 1.7 billion kroner in cost overruns as the principal reasons for its about-face.

“There are major consequences for the entire city if Metro construction drags on and the neighbours have to live with the uncertainty,” Jens Elmelund, a Technical and Environmental Department spokesperson, said in a press release. “We have always felt that complaints should not be allowed to stop the work.”

Cascade of complaints derailed night work
Late work at the four sites was halted after neighbours to the Marmorkirken construction site successfully appealed in July to Natur- og Miljøklagenævnet, the environmental appeals board, to force Metroselskabet, the company that operates the Metro, to temporarily halt working outside of normal hours, pending a final ruling. 

Once the Marmokirken group won its appeal, residents living near the other sites insisted that around the clock work should stop in their neighbourhoods as well.

The city said it will delay a decision about whether to re-start work at the Marmorkirken site until Natur og Miljøklagenævnet issues its final ruling on all night work. 

Metroselskabet said it was relieved the ban had been lifted and that it would tell the contractor to begin extended working hours as soon as possible.

After the recent legal stumbles, Metroselskabet, which is 50 percent owned by the city of the Copenhagen, has engaged the services of two law firms.