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Works begin on Brussels' new metro line 3
Preparations have begun for the 10-year-long construction of Brussels' new metro line 3, which will link Forest with Evere.
The first signs of building work have been spotted on Boulevard Stalingrad, where a new station named after Belgian jazz legend Toots Thielemans will be built.
A new 650-metre tunnel will be dug under the Boulevard du Midi, allowing metros to bypass the current Lemonnier tram junction. The vast project involves the excavation of 250,000m³ of land and construction work involving 120,000m³ of concrete and 15,000 tonnes of metal - and is complicated by the Senne river which runs nearby.
Tram lines 3 and 4, which run underground between Albert (Forest) and North Station, will be turned into a full metro line by 2024. All the platforms along the busy north-south tram route will need upgrading. Works will begin by the end of the spring.
Lemonnier tram station will be rebuilt entirely between 2024 and 2027, allowing for a smooth and step-free interchange between Toots Thielemans metro stop and existing tram lines 51 and 82.
Beyond North Station, a new metro tunnel needs digging, passing Schaerbeek town hall and terminating at Bordet station in Evere. Regional public works body Beliris hopes to obtain the necessary planning permission in time to start tunneling in September.
Brussels mayor Philippe Close has appointed an ombudsman to handle any complaints from traders about disruption caused by the building work.