“Completely unrealistic” that Metro expansion will be done on time

With noise complaints and inadequate equipment, three former employees of project’s lead contractor say expansion delays are a certainty

According to three independent sources, a combination of poor planning, inept leadership and a too low project bid means that the ongoing Metro construction is already significantly behind schedule and will face further delays.

“It’s common knowledge throughout the organisation that the project is delayed for two years,” one anonymous source told Politiken newspaper. “2018 was earmarked as a buffer for the schedule, but that is gone now and it is completely unrealistic that the Metro City Ring will be finished by then.”

The three sources, who have all be employed by the expansion project’s leading contractor, CMT, argued that the leadership reacted far too late to the discovery that the machinery being used in the project can't properly drill in the hard Copenhagen underground.

Noise complaints bogged them down
But Henrik Plougmann Olsen, the head of Metroselskabet, the company that operates the Metro, was adamant that the original schedule will hold true.

“If you disregard the uncertainty that arose with the current processing of complaints by [the environment appeals board] Natur- og Miljøklagenævnet, we still expect to open by December 2018,” Olsen wrote in an email to Politiken.

Copenhagen's mayor, Frank Jensen (Socialdemokraterne), also shifted the blame of potential delays onto the noise complaint processing that has shut down or hampered construction at several Metro construction sites.

A number of sites face delays
After comparing the original plans from four of the construction sites from 2011 with Metroselskabet’s updated time schedule, Politiken concluded that the construction faces delays of up to a year.

The site at Nørrebroparken was due to begin tunnel drilling in October 2012, but the site is still in the testing phase. Problems at the Marmorkirken site mean that the tunnelling work will face additional eight-month delays.

Sites at Frederiksberg Allé and Copenhagen Central Station are also facing delays.

Experts point to investment issues
International experts point to a postponement in larger investment in the City Ring budget as a clear indication of increased risk of delays to the construction.

A four billion kroner investment has been postponed to the last four years of the construction and in 2017 alone, which was originally to be used for testing the train system, 2.2 billion kroner will be invested in the project.

“That means that there is no room even for small errors and problems if they hope that the project will be finished on time and the budget will be kept,” Terry Williams, a professor and dean at Hull University Business School in the United Kingdom, told Berlingske newspaper.

Metroselskabet continues to stand by its original pledge that the City Ring will open in December 2018 at a price of 21.3 billion kroner.

  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.