News of: Thursday, February 19 2009,
Again, there are unexpected delays and cost overruns for the North-South Line. The responsible alderman, Tjeerd Herrema, has stepped down.
Amsterdam's future metro line project is now in a serious crisis.
The North-South Line is the future metro line that will connect Amsterdam North with Amsterdam South (running through central Amsterdam). See our map of the North-South Line.
From the beginning, the project has been plagued by many delays and budget overruns. The first train should have been running in 2007, but today it became known that the first service is scheduled to start in 2017. The projected cost for the line has more than doubled.
Last year was a disastrous year for the project. Near the future station Vijzelgracht, a few monumental old houses were severely damaged after the underground works started, although before the inhabitants were told that the work would be safe. The houses are now boarded up, and the inhabitants live somewhere else.
As it became known today that an extra EUR 290 million will be needed, and the first trains won't ride until 2017, the responsible Alderman decided he could no longer take responsibility, and stepped down.
It is unclear how the work will continue, and how it is going to be funded. With the current economic crisis, Amsterdam is running short of money, and so is the central government in The Hague.
It is even now openly discussed to cancel the project, in part or in whole. So far, work has only been done on building the underground stations.
Digging the tunnel that will connect the stations, the most difficult part of the work, has yet to start. The tunnel will be made with a large underground drill, so that it is not necessary to open the street surface. However, this method is new and experimental, and several experts have warned that the old buildings in central Amsterdam can be severely damaged.
There is now growing criticism that, of all places, the experimental digging method had to be tried under Amsterdam, Holland's most monumental and famous old inner city.
Official website: http://www.northsouthline.com.
Houses along North/South Line