We in the West Link: Mikael Larsson is project manager in the West Link Project. He is responsible for the areas surrounding Station Centralen and Kvarnberget.
What is your background and how did you end up working in the West Link Project?
I graduated as a civil engineer from Chalmers Institute of Technology and worked on design and contracting operations before I started working with project management. In 2009, I started to work at the Transport Administration, at that time Banverket, as project manager for construction of the railway line between Gothenburg and Trollhättan. When that project came to an end in 2012, I started in the West Link Project.
What does your role in the West Link Project entail?
It is my responsibility to coordinate the part of the project that concerns the areas around the Station Centralen and Kvarnberget, and to make sure that the work proceeds according to plan. It is very much a question of maintaining contact between internal employees and external interested parties and stakeholders. In order to be able to plan for a functioning city and to manage developments during the construction period, we are maintaining a dialogue with for example the City of Gothenburg authorities, administrations, Västtrafik and property owners such as Jernhusen.
Since starting to work in the West Link Project, the focus has been to produce documents for the railway plan. We have now begun to procure contractors and to produce tender enquiry documents and construction documents.
What is the biggest challenge of the West Link Project from your point of view?
The West Link is a massive project involving a lot of people. The most important challenge, and one of the biggest, is therefore to plan and predict events in advance so that we can maintain a well-functioning city throughout the construction period. For example, it may be about temporarily rerouting roads or changing the public transport routes or timetables during the construction period. This kind of information has to be communicated to the general public in good time before the changes are made.
How are you solving this challenge?
The main factor of the challenge is time scheduling. By maintaining a dialogue with interested parties we can obtain the input that is needed to find out what kind of impact the construction of the West Link will have on the surroundings, and how we can deal with it. We must provide interested parties and stakeholders with information so that they can continue with their part of the planning and in their turn give information to their clients. It could be a question of us informing Västtrafik that a bus-stop needs to be relocated, so that they can draw up a temporary time schedule and inform the passengers.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?
It is fun working with a large project in which there is always a lot going on. The size of the project means in itself a large degree of complexity, and it is good to see that everything is working properly, that things are moving forward, and that we are succeeding with what we are doing.
What do you do in your spare time?
I exercise and bike a lot. I enjoy sport in general – both looking at it and taking part in it myself.
Do you talk a lot about the West Link in your spare time?
Not very often. I try to keep my work separate from my time away from the office.