Amsterdam subway construction likely delayed as boss resigns

Construction underway at the Buikslotermeerplein subway station on the Noord-Zuid line. May 24, 2014 (photo: Dries Arnolds / NL Times). (Construction underway at the Buikslotermeerplein subway station on the Noord-Zuid line. May 24, 2014 (photo: Dries Arnolds / NL Times))

Pieter Dijk has announced his resignation as director of Amsterdam North/South subway line project. This happened shortly after Imtech's bankruptcy drew question marks on whether the line's delivery date of October 2017 will be reachable.

Dijk announced his departure on the project's website on Monday. He will be leaving "in the coming months", as soon as a successor has been found. Dijk is taking a job as director of international infrastructure projects and engineering firm Arcadis.

Pieter Dijk is the third project director since the construction of the subway line started in 2002, according to newspaper Parool. He took the job in 2008 during a crisis caused by enormous overruns and the subsidence of buildings along the Vijzelgracht. Dijk reassessed the project. The budget was increased from 1.4 billion to 3.1 billion and the completion date was shifted from 2011 to end 2017.

The project has now finally reached the completion phase. Though the possibility of the subway being complete in 2017 was reduced from 80 percent to just over 50 percent. Over the past few months Dijk has been working on retracing the schedule to see whether it is still attainable. The feasibility of reaching the deadline has been put under further pressure by Imtech's bankruptcy last month. Imtech was involved in the construction of elevators and escalators, lighting and other technical installations.

On the project website Dijk denies that this bankruptcy played a role in his departure. "On the contrary, this has made the decision to leave for Arcadis much more difficult", he said. "I always want to finish what I started and this certainly includes an exceptional job like the North/South line." He adds that Imtech's bankruptcy once again underlines that the completion of the North/South line is still far from being a done deal. "A very difficult and complex final phase is still ahead." According to him, the project is in good hands  with a "strong, professional execution organization with a well-oiled management team at the helm." "I leave the North/South line behind with confidence."