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Four major Metro projects under construction in Athens and Thessaloniki

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Four big projects by Attiko Metro for the expansion of the fixed rail network in Athens and Thessaloniki are in full progress.

In Athens, the extension of Metro Line 3 with six new stations and Tram Line with a single circular track, both in Piraeus municipality, have started since 2012 and 2013 respectively.

In Thessaloniki, the construction of the main Metro Line started in 2006 and the branch to Kalamaria in 2013. The cost of all four projects is estimated to be 2.8bn euros, that is also expected to stimulate the country’s real economy, already from the stage of their construction.

When finished, these projects will not only improve dramatically traffic conditions, thus upgrading urban transportation in general, but through extensive restorations of the stations’ surrounding areas, they will create a favorable environment for commercial development. Even real estate market benefits considerably from the presence of Metro stations. It is a fact that the generally sluggish real estate industry during the years of the crisis, flourishes in areas close to Metro network with prices and demand soaring up.

The progress

Tram works for the extension from Faleron to Piraeus are in full progress and the line is expected to be put into service towards the end of 2017.

Metro Line 3 extension, with an overall length of 7.5 km is also under construction four years now and, due to problems in Piraeus station, is not expected to operate earlier than 2020.

Thessaloniki’s main Metro Line, from New Railway Station to Nea Elvetia, 9.6 km long and with 13 stations in total, after four problematic years, seems to be moving on again. Current estimates, set the completion of the project in spring 2020.

The 4.8-km-long branch to Kalamaria with five more stations, is in satisfying progress concerning the construction of the stations but the TBM has not started opening the twin tunnels yet. The prediction is that the branch will be ready to operate by 2021, as the tunnels will be dug in record time.

The future

Athens Metro Line 4 bids will be held in 2017. The line will be 12.9 km long with 14 stations and will cost 1.4bn euros. Future plans include the extension of the Tram Line to Keratsini area and, as far as Thessaloniki Metro is concerned, the construction of the branch to Efkarpia.

Nikos Karagiannis-ypodomes.com

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