Statements made by Mr. GEORGE SOUFLIAS, Minister of YPEHODE, further to the first trial journey of the METRO train from Egaleo to Keramikos
The first journey of a Metro train in the section extending from Egaleo to Keramikos was made today in the presence of Mr. George Souflias, Minister of PEHODE. Having inspected the tests carried out in this extension, the Minister proceeded to the following statements:
“As you ascertained today, after the first journey of the Metro train in the section from Keramikos to Egaleo, the Project is now at its final completion stage. Tests on the trains have commenced and we estimate that early May the Metro Extension to Egaleo will be handed over to the public.
Thanks to the Metro system, it shall take only 7 minutes to cover the distance between Egaleo and Syntagma, while the western suburbs of Athens will be connected directly to the International Airport ELEFTHERIOS VENIZELOS. The operation of the three Metro Stations changes radically the image of the underprivileged regions of the Capital (e.g. ELEONAS) and revealing of the archaeological finds in EGALEO and ELONAS Stations will certainly constitute a pole of attraction for thousands of Greek citizens and foreign visitors.
Unfortunately, the Project of the Metro Line 3 Extension to Egaleo was delivered to us with major delays, which were due to a series of archaeological, technical, contractual and financial problems quite difficult to be solved. Today, not only have the problems of the past been solved, but we also managed to expedite the completion of the extension and to approach its commissioning date, with the assistance and hard work of Attiko Metro engineers and personnel and of all 400 employees of the Contracting Joint Venture.
Careful management on the part of Attiko Metro resulted in the completion of the Project without any cost overrun. Even the more so, in the main contracting work of the project amounting to EURO 303.7 million (EURO 233.5 million for Civil Works + EURO 70.2 million for Electromechanical Works), only 6% (instead of the 9% foreseen in the contract) for contingencies was absorbed.
Those who predicted severe deviations from the time schedule and the budget of the project are now contradicting themselves. In October 2005, I stated that the Project would be ready in April 2007. You did not believe us; however as you can see now, with few words and much work, not only do we construct projects quite important for the citizens, but also we adhere strictly to their time schedules and budgets.
However, the Metro Project does not end at Egaleo. As regards the further extension of the Line to Aghia Marina (Haidari), the contracting joint venture has bored 205 meters of tunnel (out of the 1,280 meters of tunnel + 110 meters of the station) and proceeds at an intensive pace with the implementation of the project from four (4) different fronts. The excavations for the construction of AGHIA MARINA (HAIDARI) Station are now in progress and it is anticipated that the extension to Aghia Marina (Haidari) would be ready in the end of 2008.
The line is further extended to Piraeus with an overall length of 8.2 km and 7 modern Stations and shall serve the western suburbs of Attica basin, as well as Piraeus. The tender for the relevant project is in progress. It is anticipated that by the 2nd semester of 2007, the Contractor of the project shall have been nominated, provided that there will be no implications on the Tender due to objections, appeals, etc.
Upon implementation of this extension, the Athens Metro Line 3 shall have an overall length of 49 km (out of which 28.5 km of underground line) and shall extend from Piraeus to the Airport”.
- KERAMIKOS Station is the first station of Line 3 extension to Egaleo and is located behind the area of Gazi, in the park surrounded by Triptolemou, Persefonis, Dekeleon and Voutadon Streets. The station has been constructed at a depth of 21 meters and has two entrances/exits; its west entrance is located at Dekeleon Street and the east entrance at Triptolemou Street. At the first level (concourse level), the station areas are spaciously arranged around the glass vault of the station ceiling. The fair-faced concrete, granites, glass-panels and steel structures used complement in a harmonious manner the architecture of KERAMIKOS Station.
- ELEONAS Station is located at a depth of 26 meters underneath Iera Odos street, at its intersection with Em. Papa Street. The interior area of the station is characterized by two impressive underground vaults, which mark the focal circulation point to and from the platform escalators. At the concourse level, one out of the two underground vaults ends to a cylindrical glass ceiling at street level, enabling thus the diffusion of light on the entire first level of the station. The shotcrete used on the platforms, alternating with smooth granite surfaces, and the stainless steel details reveal the geometric elements of the area. At the street level, right above the station, the most significant finds of the archaeological excavation shall be displayed in co-operation with the Ministry of Culture.
- EGALEO Station is the terminal station of Line 3 extension from Monastiraki to Egaleo. This is an underground station with a central platform, constructed at a depth of approximately 20m underneath Iera Odos street, at the level of Estavromenos Square. EGALEO Station has two entrances: the northern entrance is located οn Estavromenos Square, while the southern entrance is located on Al. Papanastasiou street. Natural light reaches the first level of the station, i.e. the concourse area and the ticketing offices. At Estavromenos Square level, ATTIKO METRO, in co-operation with the Ministry of Culture, shall display the archaeological finds of the ancient Iera Odos.
ΜΕΤRΟ NETWORK & ANTIQUITIES
The extended and long-lasting archaeological excavations was another challenge that the Metro construction works had to face in the extension of Line 3, since the alignment of the Line follows the axis of the ancient Iera Odos. It is worth pointing out that the archaeological excavations of Egaleo extension covered an overall surface, which exceeded 7,000m2 (3 Stations and shafts). This has been a hard and long-term procedure; however, due to the Metro excavation works, significant archaeological finds were encountered.
The most basic finds are as follows:
- Parts of the paving of the ancient Iera Odos, particularly dating from the Classic period (5th century B.C.)
- Parts of District Cemeteries
- Residential complexes and workshops dating from the early Archaic to the Byzantine years.
- Parts of ancient walls with particularly solid masonry, possibly belonging to ancient temples.
- Ancient disposal areas with many finds dating from all ancient eras (Marble tomb stele, heads of statues and many copper coins).
- Abutments for the foundation of Kifissos ancient bridge at the eastern shaft of ELEONAS Station.
ATTIKO METRO S.A., respecting in full the cultural heritage, proceeds, in co-operation with the Ministry of Culture, with the revealing of part of the archaeological finds in specially configured showcases at EGALEO Station, as well as at the level of Egaleo main square and under properly configured sheds in ELEONAS Station and the adjacent ventilation shaft at the street level of Iera Odos.