Amsterdam’s municipality has been tormented with financial setbacks, public criticism, and countless failures in the construction of the infamous Noord/Zuid metro line for many years. Now, almost four decades after the introduction of the initial plan for a metro line connecting the Zuid financial district with the northern part of the city, citizens and tourists alike can finally prepare themselves for the long-awaited opening of metro 52.
It all started in 1968 with the first plans to build a metro line connecting the Zuidas to Buikslotermeer, a district of Amsterdam, just north of Het IJ. These plans fell through within the next decade, as the costs and impact on the city caused a massive outrage amongst the citizens, resulting in multiple demonstrations. This led to the local government canceling the research for the construction of the Noord/Zuidlijn in 1975, turning the mere notion of the potential metro line into a local taboo. However, in the late 80s, the project was reintroduced by the local government. After a referendum on the construction of line 52 ruled in favor of construction, the building finally began.
The construction was an overall debacle which lasted nearly two decades. Many mistakes were made and construction was stopped multiple times, mostly because of the possible collapse of some of the city’s oldest houses, leading to subsequent reevaluations of the project. The initial estimate of costs ended up being roughly 2 billion euros shy of sufficiency for completion of the final project. Finally, this led to the resignment of the active commission at the time, allowing for a new team to take over and make the project a success.
Nine years after what could be called Amsterdam’s biggest infrastructural failure in recent history, the Noord/Zuidlijn is on the verge of going active as test runs are currently being initiated with normal civilians. After much discussion and controversy spanning over more than four decades, on the 22nd of July, citizens and tourists are expected to finally be able to use the brand new metro line for efficient access between Noord and Zuid.