The works for the construction of the first Thessaloniki Metro extension to Kalamaria are expected to commence in 2012. This Project shall constitute a major evolution towards the development of a fixed route means of transport serving Thessaloniki urban complex.
The Kalamaria extension project was presented yesterday, Sunday November 13th 2011, during an extraordinary meeting of Kalamaria Municipal Council attended by Mr. Yiannis Mangriotis, Deputy Minister of YPIMEDI. Mr.Christos Tsitouras, Chairman and Managing Director of ATTIKO METRO S.A. and Mr. George Konstantinidis, Thessaloniki Metro Project Manager, presented the progress of the Metro works and its eastbound extension.
Messrs. Yiannis Ioannis and Stavros Kalafatis, Deputies of Thessaloniki, as well as Mr. Dionyssis Psomiadis, Deputy Regional Governor of Central Macedonia, also attended the aforementioned meeting.
Mr. Mangriotis referred to the support provided to the extension Project by the political leadership of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, which was decisive for its integration in the Business Plan entitled “Environment and Sustainable Development” with the amount of 518 million Euros.
As stated by the Deputy Minister, the objective is to proceed with the tendering of Phase B of the Project and the appointment of the Project Contractor by the end of the year. Should no objections be filed by the interested Joint Ventures, the relevant works can commence before summer 2012 and, thus, the extension to Kalamaria, under normal circumstances, will be completed and put into operation in 2016.
Moreover, Mr. Mangriotis referred to the tendering, probably in 2011, of the final designs for Stavroupoli extension and, further on, to the tendering of the Project construction works, as well as to the extensions to Evosmos, “Macedonia” airport and Toumba-Charilaou branching; upon completion of these extensions, the city will have a 33-km long Metro network with 33 stations.
As regards the westbound extension – i.e. the 6.5 km – long line extending from Dimokratias Square, along Langada street, up to Efkarpia and its extension towards the Hospitals -, Phase A’ of the Designs has been completed and it is estimated that the Final Designs will be tendered by the end of 2011 and will be completed in 2013, when it will be possible to proceed with the tendering of the Project, provided that its integration into a funding scheme is secured.
Further on, Mr. Christos Tsitouras, Chairman and Managing Director of ATTIKO METRO S.A., made a presentation of the Project, a 4.8km-long line with 5 stations. Upon commissioning, the extension to Kalamaria will serve approximately 90,000 passengers, in addition to those using Thessaloniki Metro Base Line.
The Chairman of ATTIKO METRO S.A. also stated that the Project, during its construction phase, will create on an annual basis approximately 1,000 work positions.
Mr. Tsitouras pointed out that the works for the extension to Kalamaria are anticipated to proceed at a normal pace without any particular problems, taking into consideration the opinions of the Departments of Antiquities.
Responding to questions raised by Mr. Theodossis Bakoglidis, Mayor of Kalamaria, and Messrs. Dimosthenis Sarigiannis and Nikolaos Zachariadis, Deputy Mayors, Mr. Tsitouras clarified that the construction works will cause no significant problems to the operation of the city and to Kalamaria shopping area, while provision is made for the construction of temporary bridges for vehicle circulation at NOMARCHIA and KALAMARIA Stations.
As regards the extension of Pontou Street, whose alignment will follow the alignment of the Metro underground network, it was pointed out that ATTIKO METRO S.A. will expropriate all areas necessary for the construction of the stations and the combined operation of the line with the traffic on Pontou Street.
Finally, responding to questions raised by Members of the Municipal Council related to the construction of underground parking facilities, Mr. Tsitouras clarified that although ATTIKO METRO S.A. has no obligation to construct parking facilities, it wishes, in cooperation with the Municipal authorities, as the case is for Thessaloniki Municipality, to support local committees in resolving traffic problems.