Bankruptcy causes no extra Amsterdam subway construction delay

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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)

With reporting by Zack Newmark.

The construction of the Noord/Zuid line of the Amsterdam subway system will conclude in October 2017 despite the bankruptcies of key technology contractor Imtech and metal construction firm Oskomera, according to city alderman Pieter Litjens. The oft-delayed subway line is not expected to have any further setbacks after an analysis of the remaining risks to the project, Litjens told the Parool.

The City of Amsterdam is expected to announce the findings on Wednesday.

Construction on the subway line connecting Amsterdam Noord to central station, Dam Square, the RAI convention center and the World Trade Center began in April 2003 with an estimated completion date of 2011. Problems with construction under central station and further south at the Vijzelgracht were the cause of many delays, as the cost of construction ballooned.

The August bankruptcy of Imtech raised concerns about the construction of elevators, escalators, lighting, and the electrical installations that power the railway and air ducts. Contractor Visser and Smit has taken over this work, while key Imtech personnel were retained after the bankruptcy to reduce the possibility of any new learning curves.

When construction was approved in 2002, the budget estimated the total cost to be in the region of 1.4 billion euros with a contribution from the City of Amsterdam of 317 million euros. Currently, that figure is estimated at around 3.1 billion with the contribution for the city standing at more than five times the original estimate.

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