THESSALONIKI METRO – Statements made by the Minister of PEHODE with regard to the conclusion of the contract

Statements made by the Minister of PEHODE, Mr. George Souflias with regard to the conclusion of the contract concerning the Thessloniki Metro

The contract for the design, the construction and the commissioning of the Thessaloniki Metro was signed today and this major project starts being implemented.

The Minister of PEHODE, Mr. George Souflias, made the following statement:

“The conclusion of the contract for the Thessaloniki Metro is a milestone in the history of the Thessaloniki.
The delay in the construction of this project has caused some much trouble to the citizens of Thessaloniki for more than 15 years. The “haunted” project will finally commence! In May, the citizens of Thessaloniki will see that works at the Metro worksites will commence.

I am really proud that throughout my tenure the construction of the most extended public project ever implemented in Thessaloniki will be initiated.
In the first place, the project includes 9,6 km of Metro tunnel and 13 stations. It is estimated that it will serve 250,000 passengers on a daily basis. In fact, it will be a Metro system which will be better in terms of quality than the Athens Metro and probably the most modern in Europe! It is a significant project which will improve the quality of life of the citizens of Thessaloniki. I would like to point out that we will do our best so that the disturbance caused to the citizens of Thessaloniki due to the execution of works may be reduced to the minimum. To this end, a special design is prepared.

Allow me to remind you that we faced many problems, there were delays and omissions in previous designs; we overcame all these problems by preparing new designs of the project and dealt with difficulties in the tender related to the 34 objections, appeals and complaints which had been submitted to the Awarding Authority, the Greek Courts and the European Committee.Thirty-four! I think that it is the greatest number ever submitted during a tender procedure. However, we managed to proceed with the construction of the project.

I would like to point out that ATTIKO METRO S.A. conducted an unimpeachable tender in a relatively short period of time.

The overall budget of the project is 1,1 billion euros. I remind you that its funding has been secured by the 3rd CSF as well as by a loan that we secured based on favourable terms by the European Investment Bank. It is very important to say that for the completion of this major project 3,000 work positions will be created in Thessaloniki.

Finally, I wish to remind you that, taking into account the Athens Metro extension program as well, we initiate the most extended Metro project ever implemented in Greece and currently under way in Europe! The cost estimate of the Projects amounts to 1.8 billion euros in total.Twenty-six new stations and 22,5 km of new line will be constructed.

I really wish to congratulate all those who were involved in this project. We said that 2006 will be the year for the implementation of major projects and we are determined to keep our promise.”

Technical Caracteristics of the Network
  • 13 modern stations with a central platform
  • 9,6 km of Line (with two independent single track tunnels) which shall be constructed at its largest part(7.7 km) by two TBMs. The remaining part of the Line will be constructed using the Cut & Cover Method.
  • 18 fully automated state-of-the art trains, fully air conditioned, which will be driverless, but with a co-driver.
  • Depot in the area of Pylea (Votsi), 50,000 m2.
  • The significant technical differences of the Thessaloniki Metro, which are improvements in relation to the Athens Metro Lines 2 & 3, consist in the fact that there will be two single independent tunnels (instead of a double track tunnel which exists in the Athens Metro), as well as a platform screen door system for each Station for the convenience and the maximum safety of the passengers. The construction of the two tunnels will be carried out with the use of two Tunnel Boring Machines(metromoles).
  • The archaeological excavation is to cover a total surface of 20,000 m2 and ATTIKO METRO S.A. in co-operation with the Ministry of Culture will exhibit the most important archaeological finds at central stations of the network.
Time schedule of the project

In the next month the first worksites will be installed in Thessaloniki and until the end of the year all the worksite areas required for the construction of the project will have been developped. Sixteen main worksites along the Line will be installed, as well as a few other less extended for the remaining infrastructure (shafts, etc. )of the Metro.

In the first place the required PUO diversions will be executed and immediately afterwards the archaeological investigation will commence in the areas where the stations and the ventilation shafts of the project will be constructed.

It is estimated that works will last 6,5 years.

SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THE DESIGN OF THE PROJECT

Significant issues, which had not been sufficiently addressed with the previous design, related to the unsuccessful attempt to have the Thessaloniki Metro constructed by the Concession Method (1998-2003) were minutely addressed by the new preliminary design of the project. ATTIKO METRO S.A. addressed successfully difficult technical problems related to the construction of the project, thus, ensuring minimization of any complications due to the inadequate initial design. In particular, the main improvements to the design of the Thessaloniki Metro system are as follows:

ARCHAEOLOGICAL ISSUES

In close co-operation with the Archaeological Services and the Ministry of Culture, the following actions were taken:

  • a special study was carried out to substantiate archaeological issues based on which the Stations which can be characterized as Stations of ‘high archaeological risk’, given that it is highly possible to have antiquities encountered during excavation works.
  • the Stations whose construction would require long archaeological excavation (e.g. Plateia Dimokratias Station was relocated outside the ancient walls of the city) were relocated from their initial location.
  • the best methods were selected in order to safeguard the archaeological finds and reduce the cost and the time needed for the archaeological excavations.
PUO NETWORKS

Improvements to the alignement of the Thessaloniki Metro were made in order to ensure that there will be no entanglement with the Central Sewage Pipe, part of which based on the initial design should be relocated and by-passed.

Respective forecasts were made and remedial actions were taken taking into consideration the remaining public utility networks in Thessaloniki.

SUBSOIL

The new preliminary design of the project, thanks to the collection of some updated data concerning the subsoil of Thessaloniki, determined the excavation methods both of the Stations and the Line and defined the caracteristics of both Tunnel Boring Machines(metromoles).

The disturbance to the citizens due to the execution of works will be reduced to the minimum.

Unlike the Athens Metro, the Metro Stations in Thessaloniki will be constructed using the Cover and Cut Method and not the Cut & Cover method which was mainly used for the Athens Metro, in order to minimize the disturbance to the operation of the city.

Throughout the construction of the Thessaloniki Metro Stations there will be two traffic lanes per direction in Monastiriou Street, two or three lanes per direction in Egnatia and one lane per direction in Delfon Street.

In fact, in order to deal with traffic problems that will be created due to the construction of the major projects in Thessaloniki (Metro, undersea tunnel)a special design is carried out in order to mitigate any problems.

Moreover, the Contracting Consortium will take all necessary measures in order to reduce the unavoidable disturbance that will be caused due to the execution of the construction works to the adjacent businesses and residencies.

Contractor of the Project

The Companies AEGEK – IMPREGILO – ANSALDO T.S.F. – SELI – ANSALDOBREDA will be the Contracting Consortium of the Project.

ATTIKO METRO S.A. has undertaken the supervision of the construction of the project, which, further to the know-how, it has acquired a 15-year experience  from the Athens Metro construction. In May, the responsible Managing Department of ATTIKO METRO S.A. will be installed at the Metro worksites and its premises in Thessaloniki will be open soon. The Managing Department will be first composed of a few people, but it will be gradually staffed with engineers and executives from Thessaloniki and North Greece.

It is worth mentioning that for the construction of the Thessaloniki Metro it is estimated that 3,000 persons of different specialties will be engaged  both in the Contracting Consortium and the providers.

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