Construction began last week on Oslo’s new central library in Bjørvika, on the capital’s eastern waterfront. The project marks the launch of yet another round of both pedestrian and vehicular traffic disruption in the area that will be “very demanding” according to the head of the neighbouring Opera House.
City developers celebrated the groundbreaking for the new Deichmanske Hovedbibliotek in Bjørvika, between Oslo’s Central Station and the Opera House, which itself opened in 2008. The library’s construction, though, is expected to take three years and put an access squeeze on the Opera House and other buildings already in place.
“We’ve already had a good deal of complaints, especially from the elderly and handicapped,” Tom Remlov, director of The Norwegian Opera, told newspaper Dagsavisen. Since the removal of a footbridge from the train station over to the Opera, made necessary by the ongoing road construction projects in the area, Remlov said there’s a long detour for pedestrians to get to the Opera, and directional signs are inadequate. Highway officials have already warned motorists to avoid the area if at all possible.
Now the City of Oslo also hopes to start construction on the new Munch Museum, just east of the Opera House, during the next year. “We know this whole area has been a construction zone for many years and it still will be for a few more years,” Hallsten Bjercke of the city government told Dagsavisen. “But I think it will be worth it when we’re finished here.”