Metro 3: Brussels government stands by project but delays decision

Metro 3: Brussels government stands by project but delays decision
Construction site at Palais du Midi. Credit: Belga/Nicolas Maeterlinck

The Brussels government held an emergency meeting on Thursday on the topic of the planned Metro 3, for which construction was stopped abruptly on Tuesday after it emerged that budget and schedule would need to be revised.

In a comment to Belga News Agency, government spokespersons confirmed that the Metro 3 North-Bordet project is central to its mobility and territorial development policy. But in light of the recent developments, it has not yet come to a decision about how to go ahead with the plan as its investment into it has been called into question as setbacks have significantly increased the estimated cost.

At present, the Brussels government would only state that "on the basis of the analysis and recommendations of Beliris (the Capital-Region's investment fund)... and in dialogue with the Federal Government, the financial options will be evaluated to ensure the sustainability of the financing of the metro".

Government estimates fall short

Beliris, which oversees construction, renovation and restoration projects in Brussels, informed regional officials on Monday that it had received two commercial bids for the "civil engineering of the tunnel & stations" of the metro project between Gare du Nord and Bordet.

"After an initial analysis by Beliris, it appears that the cost estimates of the bids significantly exceed the updated estimates," Brussels ministers said at the end of the meeting. "The government intends to take its responsibilities both for the development of public transport services and for budgetary sustainability."

The Brussels executive wishes to enter into a dialogue with the Federal Government and Beliris, which has been asked to "provide an in-depth analysis of the offers" so that the region can understand how the initial budget has been revised so significantly.

Related News

The office of Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, has stated that it will ask the Federal Government to participate more in the Metro North project. It argues that capital cities around the world often receive substantial state aid and insisted that updating Brussels' metro infrastructure will provide a major economic boost to the city and Belgium as a nation.

Copyright © 2024 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.