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STIB reveals Metro 3 line could take 10 years to complete

05:41 22/02/2022

Travelling from Forest to Evere by metro will become a reality in 2031 or 2032 at the earliest, according to Brussels mobility company STIB. The company made the statement at a press conference announcing the launch of the public consultation for the Metro Line 3 that begins on Wednesday.

The project consists of two parts: the northern section which includes a series of new stations and the transformation of the tram connection between Albert and Gare du Nord into a metro line, and the southern section which includes the construction of a new station (Toots Thielemans) in place of the existing one in Lemonnier. This southern section is expected to be operational in 2025.

The northern section is the more extensive and potentially problematic part of the project. Whereas the southern part builds on an existing line, the northern section has to be started from scratch. A tunnel has to be dug and stations need to be constructed at seven locations along the new line: Liedts, Colignon, Verboekhoven, Riga, Tilleul, Paix and Bordet – the building of which is the subject of the public consultation opening this week.

Federal construction department Beliris has introduced the modified urban planning and environmental permits taking into account the impact study that closed in 2021. Citizens now have access to the design plans of the proposed facilities and to additional information. Between March 6 and April 7, they can share their remarks. A consultation committee will follow up on these comments.

Finally, licensing could take place later in the year. However, two uncertainties remain around the project. First, the timing. The 2031-2032 horizon is almost wishful thinking. It does not take into account, for example, the delay caused by possible appeals.

More importantly, there is the question of funding. The total estimated cost now rises to €2.3 billion, a large part of which will be borne by the region. Despite official discourse that is intended to be reassuring, doubts remain about the ability of the region, which is already heavily indebted, to pay for its future metro.

Written by Nick Amies

Comments

Anon3

The starting date for any construction (road, building etc.) in Brussels is usually fairly sure, but when it will end is anyone's guess. Just look at the Palais de Justice for example. Work started in 1984.....

Feb 22, 2022 11:38
Frank Lee

I've been using the "premetro" since 1972 under the Greater Ring and since 1976 to cross the city center from North to South. STIB-MIVB is taking its sweet time to make it go from "premetro" to "metro".

Feb 27, 2022 01:56