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One-year delay for Belval laboratory
Luxembourg

One-year delay for Belval laboratory

2 min. 24.07.2014 From our online archive
The University of Luxembourg's new laboratories in Belval will take longer to complete than expected after a landslide at the construction site last autumn was found to have caused significant delays.
26.11.13 esch belval, effondrement terre chantier, photo marc wilwert
Baustelle Bâtiment laboratoire belval
Baustelle Bâtiment laboratoire belval

(CS) The University of Luxembourg's new laboratories in Belval will take longer to complete than expected after a landslide at the construction site last autumn was found to have caused significant delays.

The landslide saw a 12-metre support wall demolished and part of a nearby road slide into the construction pit. The damage was caused by water, which had built up underground, causing the ground to destabilise.

Luckily, no-one was working at the site at the time of the incident, which occurred overnight from Saturday to Sunday, November 23 to 24, last year.

An engineer had spotted a crack in the support wall, and wanted to call construction workers to the site, but was unable to reach managers, who had already left for the weekend. Had workers been at the scene at the time of the incident they would have probably been buried by the rubble.

Experts meanwhile are still trying to determine who is responsible for the incident, although Félicie Weyker of the Fonds Belval said that they still trust engineers and architects working on the project. There is no reason to blame them, she said.

Cost still unknown

Work is currently underway to clean up the landslide and stabilise the wall. New 30-metre earth anchors are being installed, and it is expected to take until October or November this year to bring the construction site back to normal.

The cost of additional works will not be known until later this year. However, it is estimated to be in the single-digit millions.

Roughly one year after the landslide, regular construction work can then resume. Measures have also been taken to avoid another such incident. For example, drainage holes have been installed to help solve the water problem, caused by different types of soil coming together.

The construction site is located at a former hillside, where earth was heaped to create an even surface.

The laboratory building is now expected to be completed towards the end of 2017 or the beginning of 2018, following the University's move to the new campus near Esch/Alzette.

Reporting by Nicolas Anen

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