THESSALONIKI METRO – Thessaloniki Metro celebrates the name day of Aghia Varvara, protector of underground project workers

Mr. Yiannis Magriotis, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, the members of the Greek Committee for Tunnels and Underground Works (ΕΕΣΥΕ) and representatives of local organizations and associations visited today EFKLIDIS Metro Station, a station that is at an advanced construction stage and where the TBM is to arrive in two months.

The event, organized on the occasion of the name day of Aghia Varvara, protector of workers in underground projects, was attended by thirty members of the ΕΕΣΥΕ headed by its Chairman Mr. Georgios Dounias, Mr. Tassos Kanaklidis Chairman of the ΤΕΕ/ΤΚΜ, Mr. Panos Stathakopoulos Chairman of the EE of ΟΡΘΕ, Ms. Lilian Axilara Chief of the 16th Department of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, and Mr. Dimosthenis Sarigiannis Deputy Mayor of Kalamaria. On behalf of ATTIKO METRO S.A. (AM), the event was attended by the BoD Member Mr. Konstantinos Zervas, while Mr. Michael Simas, General Manager of the Construction Joint Venture (J/V), was also present.

The Deputy Minister of Infrastructures, Transport and Networks asked all attendants to provide their “concurrence, co-operation and dedication to the major development objectives set for the city” since, as he said, barren conflicts in the past deprived our city of the important and necessary projects it needed so much.

The Deputy Minister stressed that “the Project is on the move again – this objective was achieved – and we must do our best in order to complete the Metro the soonest possible and to make it reliable both operationally and technically. We should also proceed the soonest possible to the extensions of the Metro, so that we can speak about a Metro network covering Thessalonki and the wider area which, in combination with the buses, the tramway, the seaways and the cycling lanes, will form the infrastructure for a sustainable mobility throughout the city, thus significantly improving the residents’ quality of life and rendering the city attractive to visitors and investors”.

A new relationship between the Metro and the city

Concluding his short speech, Mr. Magriotis referred to today’s meeting to be held in the premises of Thessaloniki Metro. Invitations to this meeting have been extended to all agencies directly related with the Metro and the resolution of the problems resulting from the construction works. After the meeting, a presentation shall be made of “our proposal for the establishment of a corporate relationship between the Metro and the city, of a new philosophy of dealing with the Project, since the Metro is the heart of our city. The city should embrace the Project, support it, promote it and should prepare for the post Metro-construction era”.

The guests were welcomed at EFKLIDIS station by Mr. Georgios Kontanstinidis, Thessaloniki Metro Projects Department,who said that the Metro, with the systematic and organized efforts of all parties involved in its construction, gradually overcomes its problems and progresses more and more dynamically.

Mr. Konstantinidis highlighted that the Project’s construction employs specific state-of-the-art techniques for the first time in Greece. The Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) are of the latest technology employed anywhere in the world, adapted to the geological conditions of Thessaloniki.

Afterwards Mr. M. Simas, General Manager of the construction joint venture, gave a short greeting speech and asked the various agencies and the public to exhibit their understanding for the disturbance, since Thessaloniki Metro is facing more construction difficulties compared to the Athens Metro; nevertheless the problems are successfully resolved.

Subsequently, Mr. T. Konaklides, Chairman of the ΤΕΕ/ΤΚΜ, the agency that has undertaken the task to conduct the public consultations concerning the unified strategic plan for the transport infrastructure within the Urban Cluster of Thessaloniki, stressed that the Metro is a project of strategic importance for the transport network of Thessaloniki.

Mr. G. Dounias, Chairman of the ΕΕΣΥΕ, also gave a short greeting speech and said that the heart of all underground projects currently constructed in Greece beats in Thessaloniki. As far as the ΕΕΣΥΕ is concerned, the solution to the traffic congestion problems faced by the Greek cities is the construction of underground projects. Projects such as Thessaloniki Metro contribute towards making feasible, in terms of design, construction and administration, the utilization of underground space.

Thereafter, a presentation was made of the technical characteristics of the project, of design issues by Ms. G. Vassilakopoulou and of issues pertaining to geological/structural monitoring by Mr. T. Exarchou.

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