For several weeks, I had been planning a blog post regarding the extension of Line 4 of the Paris Subway towards the suburb of Montrouge. Unfortunately, construction work has delayed the opening of the new extension until at least March of 2013; the station Mairie de Montrouge had been tentatively scheduled to open by December 31, 2012.
Why the delay? From what I am hearing from Parisians in the SkyScraperCity and Symbioz forums (the latter one is in French; you can use Google Translate or Yahoo BabelFish to translate); it is taking much longer than expected to dig through the numerous quarries that lie underneath Montrouge. In fact; the entire routing of the subway extension towards Bagneux (planned to begin construction in 2014) had to be altered in order to avoid massive quarries that would otherwise undermine the stability of the ground above. You can see in these photos how complex some of these quarries are.
Sadly; the tentative date of December, 2012 for the opening of the new Montrouge station was quite unrealistic given the many surprises that lurked underneath Montrouge. No one could really know the stability of the quarries until the digging commenced. On the flipside however; it is better to delay work, than to rush things and have something disastrous happen during operation of the subway line. We certainly don’t want to imagine any such scenarios.
With this said; I hope to be able to report back towards the end of 2012 as to the status of the Line 4 extension. I will also post at the time; an update of the extension of Line 12, which is still expected to open in December, 2012.