Resuming of Thessaloniki Metro Project thanks to Mr. Christos Spirtzis Minister of Infrastructures, Transport and Networks
After the long pause of the activities for the construction of Thessaloniki Metro Base Project, works are resuming at a rapid pace. After four years, worksites that had been left idle are coming into life again and the Tunnel Boring Machines are going back to work.
Today, in the presence of Mr. Christos Spirtzis, Minister of Infrastructures, Transport and Networks, Mr. George Dedes, Secretary General of Infrastructures, Mr. Yiannis Mylopoulos, Chairman of ATTIKO METRO S.A. Board of Directors and Mr. George Papadopoulos, Managing Director of ATTIKO METRO S.A., the first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) started its drive heading to the west from NEA ELVETIA Station – which is under construction – towards ANALIPSI Station. In 30 days (for reasons of construction safety) the second TBM will start its drive too, to bore the last 1,890 meters of the two twin tunnels that remain for the completion of the line. Given that 75% of the overall length of the line has already been executed, it is anticipated that the construction of the tunnels will have been completed by the end of the year.
On 19th February 2016 the 2nd Supplementary Contract for the archaeological project amounting to EURO 25,000,000 was signed and the archaeological works are starting anew. Given that 82% of the excavation works have already been completed, the remaining activities concern VENIZELOS Station, the southern access of the NEW RAILWAY Station, the northern and southern accesses of DIMOKRATIAS Station, the northern and southern accesses of AGHIA SOFIA Station, the southern access of SINTRIVANI Station and Building III as well as the surrounding area of the Depot.
Meanwhile, as of the beginning of May, works have resumed in the worksites too. More specifically, construction activities are being performed in the following areas: Dimokratias Crossover, DIMOKRATIAS, SINTRIVANI, AGHIA SOFIA, PAPAFI Stations, PATRIKIOS Station and Crossover, VOULGARI and NEA ELVETIA Stations and the Depot.
Further more, after the dispute that was due to the presence of the archaeological finds in VENIZELOU Station, it is the first time that an agreement is finally reached between ATTIKO METRO S.A., the Ministry of Culture and the Thessaloniki Municipality on a technical solution – under consideration by ATTIKO METRO – on the basis of which archaeological finds and the Metro station in Venizelou will co-exist. This solution is in line with the last decision made by the Central Archaeological Council that foresees the construction of the Station at the same location with the simultaneous display of the archaeological finds in situ. The technical feasibility of this solution – that has been agreed upon – is under consideration and the outcomes until the present date do confirm that the station can be constructed in line with the subject solution.
Thus, a major problem which hindered the construction of the station and had given rise to discord among the various authorities and agencies of Thessaloniki is now addressed in a manner acceptable by all involved parties and, most importantly, in manner beneficial to the city. The fact that a commonly accepted solution for VENIZELOU Station has been reached paves now the way to the completion of the entire Project.
Finally, construction works are normally evolving along the Metro extension to Kalamaria, judging from the fact that they are currently executed in all five stations of the line.
Resuming of THESSALONIKI METRO construction works is the conclusion of the efforts made by Mr. Christos Spirtzis, Minister of Infrastructures, Transport and Networks, who made the following statements on the occasion of the TBM tunnelling works commencement: “Today, after a pause of four years, the TBM resumes its operations. This is a day of joy for Thessaloniki and the entire Northern Greece. Thessaloniki Metro Base Line is coming closer to its completion. We can now look ahead, start considering the construction of other infrastructure projects in Northern Greece, the Metro extensions, Egnatia railway line and the other road works which have not yet connected Egnatia Odos with the industrial zones of Northern Greece and the ports. This is the response to calamity foreseers and to those responsible for the stagnation and stoppage of all major infrastructure projects in the entire country and mainly in Northern Greece. In particular for VENIZELOU Station, I would like to stress the importance of having together the Metro Project and the antiquities. A solution is already scheduled, which is in concordance with the decision of the Central Archaeological Council. We shall implement this solution in cooperation with the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the other involved agencies/authorities. To conclude, I would like to say that all Metro extensions shall be planned by ATTIKO METRO S.A., with the purpose of putting an end to the fragmentary nature of the projects”.
The Chairman of ATTIKO METRO S.A. Board of Directors, Professor Yiannis Mylopoulos, stated: “Today, the city of Thessaloniki “sees the light at the end of the tunnel” in relation to the Metro Project. By the end of the year, the TBM will have completed the boring of all tunnels; our goal is to have the Metro Base line completed by spring 2020. The Time Schedule is very tight, but we commit ourselves to complete all required works as scheduled. The messages are very optimistic. The citizens of Thessaloniki realize that Metro Project works start again and that the city of Thessaloniki is in the centre of the State’s attention”.