MINISTRY OF INFRASTRUCTURES, TRANSPORT & NETWORKS
The Deputy Minister of Infrastructures, Transport and Networks, Mr. Yiannis Mangriotis, visited today the premises of Attiko Metro A.E.. The meeting held was attended by the Secretary General of Public Works, Mr. Yiannis Oikonomidis, the newly-elected members of the Municipal Council, Messrs. Andreas Kourakis and Konstantinos Zervas, who were the representatives of the newly-elected Mayor of Thessaloniki Mr. Yiannis Boutaris, the Chairman of ATTIKO METRO A.E. BoD, Mr. Christos Tsitouras, and executives of the Managing Department of Thessaloniki Metro, recently established.
Upon completion of the meeting, Mr. Mangriotis made the following statements:
“The meeting was very productive, since our discussion was held in our capacity as fellow-citizens and partners in this major effort. We presented the time schedules along with the problems encountered during the construction of the 9.6 km base line expanding in the boundaries of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, and of the extensions towards Kalamaria, which is under the tendering process, as well as the planning of the westbound extension. In other words, our discussion concerned the entire Thessaloniki Metro network.
This Metro network has a 10-year horizon. The 9.6km base line is already under construction, while the extension to Kalamaria will be put to tender next year. On condition that no objections are filed and other problems are not encountered, by this time next year, there might be a nominated Contractor to undertake the construction of this extension. At the same time, the designs concerning the Thessaloniki Metro westbound extension are financed and are in progress.
The funding for both the base line and the extension to Kalamaria is secured. As far as the remaining extensions are concerned, there is no secured funding yet. However, we are making a strong effort – along with our effort to ensure the maturity of their designs – in order to secure their funding too, and I am certain that in the years to come our objective will have been achieved.
The Metro unites us all, it is indispensable for enhancing the quality of life of the citizens of Thessaloniki and for rendering the city of Thessaloniki both viable and attractive to visitors and investors.
The willing of the new Municipal Authority to cooperate for the problems to be solved is equally important. Lack of cooperation on the part of the Municipality would not result in the solution of problems entailing issues related to the Municipality, agencies involved with the Municipality, such as the issue regarding the Administration of Papafeio Institution and other related matters. The intentions of the new Municipal Authority are most positive and we reached the agreement to set up a Joint Committee between Thessaloniki Attiko Metro and the Municipality of Thessaloniki in order to deal with these issues and address any problems to be encountered during the construction of the Metro.
For instance, the disturbance of the shop owners in the areas where Metro Stations are being constructed is major. We are all well-aware of the decrease in the turnover and the declined activities they have suffered during previous years, due to the delays in the Metro works in the subject areas and mainly due to the archaeological excavations.
We agreed upon a close cooperation. The Municipality will take the initiative, as the case should always be and contrary to what we have witnessed until the present date.
The archaeological excavations carried out in the framework of the Metro construction are the major ones ever conducted in Greece. They are even greater than the excavations performed during the construction of the Athens Metro. The city of Thessaloniki counts 23 centuries of life, its history background is greater than that of Athens, and this is the reason why the archaeological finds date back to more historic periods. Of course this entails additional difficulties, greater time periods and costs. We have the intention to finance this cost, since it constitutes the wealth of our people and our culture, since we want every Metro station and every area adjacent to the Metro to be an archaeological museum.
In this huge effort of ours for the city and the citizens of Thessaloniki, I am very pleased that the Thessaloniki Municipality, along with the regional municipalities for those sections of the Metro network concerning their regions, will now be our major partner”.
In response to a question concerning the extension to Toumba and Charilaou areas, Mr. Mangriotis pointed out the following:
“There is positive political decision about the extension to Toumba and Charilaou. Attiko Metro A.E. has already prepared the alignment of this section. However, the design of this line is not yet mature; it needs work, the pertinent preparation and securing of funds”.
In response to a question concerning the time horizon for the completion of the Base Line, Mr. Mangriotis pointed out the following:
“From the very first months of our governing, I had underlined that we should examine the magnitude and the extent of the problems and that based on the delays in the works until October, i.e. approximately 2 years and a half, we could – having solved the problems and having accelerated the pace – complete the base line in 2014. Given that we had not taken into consideration the additional problems, such as the matters involving Papafeio and other areas, and based on the current estimates on the part of Attiko Metro A.E, it is anticipated that by the end 2014, and – in any case – early 2015, the construction of the base line will have been completed”.
In response to a question concerning the extension to Kalamaria, Mr. Mangriotis pointed out the following:
“Given that there is always flexibility in the time frame, due to the objections and appeals filed in such major tendering processes, it is estimated that we will have a nominated Contractor for the extension to Kalamaria by the end 2011, early 2012. The tendering process has already commenced. Currently, the Joint Ventures have been selected; in other words, the pre-qualification stage has been completed. We are now waiting to see whether objections will be filed; on condition that no objection is filed, we will immediately proceed to Stage B of the Tender with no delay. Attiko Metro A.E., by utilizing its internal resources, is completing the designs that had not been prepared at the time when the first stage of the tender commenced and, thus, we can have a nominated Contractor by the end 2011”.
ATTIKO METRO S.A.
The THESSALONIKI METRO Project is now being constructed at a normal pace. In line with the time schedule, the 9.6 km basic axis will have been completed and commissioned in 2015. Phase B of the Tender regarding the Extension to Kalamaria will commence in 2011, and it is anticipated that the Contractor of the subject project will be nominated in 2011 as well.
Those were the statements of Deputy Minister of Infrastructures, Transport and Networks, Mr. Yiannis Mangriotis, upon completion of the meeting held at the Thessaloniki Metro premises; during this meeting an agreement was reached regarding the establishment of a Joint Committee with the participation of the Thessaloniki Urban Cluster (T.U.C.) Municipalities to be served by the Metro network, aiming at solving any problems involving local communities.
The Secretary General of Infrastructures, Mr. Yiannis Oikonomidis, as well as the Chairman of ATTIKO METRO A.E. BoD, Mr. Christos Tsitouras, the Thessaloniki Metro Projects Manager, Mr. George Konstantinidis, and Deputy Manager, Mr. Ioannis Karakitsios, and the General Supervisor of the Project, Mr. Konstantinos Kolomondos, participated in the subject meeting that was held at the premises of Thessaloniki Metro.
The members of the municipal council and engineers, Messrs. Andreas Kourakis and Konstantinos Zervas, member of Attiko Metro BoD, participated in the subject meeting in their capacity as representatives of the new Municipal Authority of Thessaloniki, to undertake their duties on 01/01/2011.
Mr. Mangriotis was quite pleased to notice the interest on the Metro, exhibited for the first time in practice by the central municipality of the town, through which the axis of the Base Project passes. The Deputy Minister praised the establishment of the Joint Committee on Metro related issues, in which representatives from the Municipality and the Company will participate, as well as the establishment – at a later stage – of a second committee in which representatives from other Municipalities of the T.U.C., for whom the Metro network will be of particular interest, will also participate.
The Deputy Minister pointed out that the funding of the base project and the extension to Kalamaria has been secured, while strong efforts are being made to also secure funding for the westbound extensions to Stavroupoli and Evosmos, currently under design, as well as for the eastbound extension to the Airport.
It was the Chairman of Attiko Metro S.A. BoD, Mr. Tsitouras, who made the presentation of the progress of the Project works and stressed that the city of Thessaloniki should embrace the Project – something that seems to be finally true based on the interest shown by the newly-elected Municipal Authority; he also pointed out that the Company is willing to cooperate towards the minimization of the disturbance caused to the citizens and the commercial community of Thessaloniki.
Mr. Tsitouras requested Messrs. Kourakis and Zervas to ensure the Municipality’s cooperation so that – at this phase – solutions can be given to the following issues, namely: ensuring access to SINTRIVANI Station on its side located adjacent to the northern entrance of the Thessaloniki International Fair area; the relocation of the Refuse Transfer Station from the area where Pylaia Depot will be constructed, as foreseen by the contract; the opening of Psellou Street, in view of the construction of NEA ELVETIA Station.
Finally, the Chairman of the Company requested the Municipality to intervene, in view of settling the entanglement with the Papafio Institution.
Mr. Kourakis gave his assurance about the cooperation between the Municipality and Thessaloniki Metro and stressed that traffic arrangements and other kind of interventions on the part of Company should be effected for ensuring the optimal operation of the city in areas where Metro works are under execution.