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Three-year delay for Brussels' new metro line
A new line that will put Schaerbeek and Evere on the metro map for the first time has been delayed by three years.
Beliris, the federal body responsible for financing and carrying out the works, said the tunnel from Brussels North station to Bordet will now not be completed until 2028 instead of 2025.
The 5km tunnel forms the northern half of new metro line 3, with stops at Liedts, Colignon, Verboekhoven and Riga in Schaerbeek and at Tilleul, Paix and Bordet in Evere.
The southern part of the line, from Brussels North to Albert station in Forest, requires less work as it follows the existing tram lines 3 and 4, and is still due to open by 2023.
A Beliris spokeswoman said: "During our research, we realised that some of the timings had perhaps been under-estimated. We would rather get things right and take the necessary time to carry out the project."
The organisation has accused the Brussels-Capital region of taking too long with the administrative procedures needed to apply for building permits.
A series of public information sessions was held in January. The 5km tunnel will be dug 30 metres underground - a method which Beliris says will minimise the disruption to traffic and visual pollution at ground level.
Brussels mobility minister Pascal Smet said the delay was "unacceptable", adding: "We have asked for a thorough investigation to understand why this delay has come up, and how we can work together to reduce it."