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Attica’s Road and Railway Detours: Necessary or inevitable?

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Almost 2 years ago, the first large-scale project that was withdrawn by the Infrastructure Minister, Mr. Spirtzis was the motorway connecting Elefsina and Iliki aka the Great Attica Road Detour. The project was also considered to be directly competitive to Nea Odos Motorway making it “eligible” for multi-million-euro compensations.

Since then, the plan for the Detour remained inactive but with the completion of the country’s main motorway network, it is expected to re-emerge as a supplementary project. Even though the country finally features functional, interconnected motorways, several additions could be needed in the future: Patras-Pirgos, VOAK and the completion of E65 among others. Following the same logic, an extension of Attica Motorway is almost certain. And that would be all for major road infrastructure projects… or not?

The exponential development of Piraeus Port, managed by COSCO, which recorded 3.5mn containers in 2016, a figure that could reach 5.5mn in just 2 years’ time will surely call for more infrastructure projects in order to handle and facilitate the upcoming needs and load.

Apart from the roads though, a major upgrade of the railway infrastructure will be also needed, with the construction of a parallel “Attica Detour”, moving on train tracks this time, serving efficiently the principle of combined transportation that could boost the performance of the Port even more and improve commercial services that could benefit the region in general.

This crucial project could shorten the railway distance between Peloponnese and Northern Greece by 60 km, making goods’ transportation even faster. It is certain that a need for these projects will come up sooner or later, nevertheless the question would be whether we will stand proactively to run them in advance or we will materialize them when it is late and on a tight schedule.

 

Nikos Karagiannis-ypodomes.com

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