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10 Χρόνια Υποδομές - 10 Χρόνια

Ten years! – The great technical achievements of the past decade



The decade of 2010 for the constructions world will remain in history as the period of contrasts, when a lot happened, but the hard way. The period when one generation of projects was completed but the next one never came.

What one cannot dispute is that the past decade has left significant construction achievements. We have heard many times about the so-called “pharaonic plans”; but there are two sides to every coin as a “pharaonic plan” of today may be the daily routine infrastructure of tomorrow.

Over the decade, the “pharaonic plan” that has really been implemented is nothing else than the completion of the country’s 5 major motorways, a leading construction event in the modern history of Greece whose importance has been somewhat underestimated. Creating and operating 2,200 kilometers of covered motorways is a great achievement for at least a generation.


Elefsina-Corinth-Patras, Antirrio-Ioannina, Corinth-Tripoli-Patras, Metamorfosi-Skarfia-Raches, Raches-Kleidi and Xiniada-Trikala, were completed with great effort and a lot of money by the Greek people and Europe, large private loans and with the sacrifice of other projects.

However, the country managed to acquire, along with the Egnatia Odos motorway and its vertical axes, Attiki Odos and the Rio-Antirrio Bridge, an impressive network of motorways that, with its operation, transformed the country’s road transport, providing critical infrastructure where ports, airports, tourism, culture, industry, agricultural production can depend on and create growth.

Olympia Odos, Ionia Odos, Moreas Motorway, Nea Odos, Kentriki Odos “E65” and Aegean Motorway are the great heritage of the decade 2010-2020. With the necessary additions, the network will grow even more in the coming years. Of course, we must point out the timelessness and over-partisanship of these works.

Let’s not forget that these works started with the first announcement of the former minister Kostas Laliotis in 2001, their second and substantial promotion by Giorgos Souflias, their substantial restart by Kostis Hatzidakis and Michalis Chrysochoidis and their completion by Christos Spirtzis. It took about 16 years from their launch to their completion.


Another great achievement is undoubtedly the completion of the main railway axis Athens-Thessaloniki. Above we talked about the motorways and the 2,200 kilometers we managed to consrtruct in 16 years. In the case of the railway, it took more than 25 years for us to get 500 kilometers of double-track, electrified, high-speed line.
Only the opening of Kallidromo tunnel lasted 20 years. The Central Railway Station of Athens was finally electrified with a delay of at least 40 years, just in 2017!

However, the decade of 2010-2020 was the one that put its stamp on these projects. It took a lot of pressure and over 2bn euros, dozens of contracts to finally be able in 2019, to cover the distance between Athens-Thessaloniki in 4 hours by a fast electric train.

The relevant completion contracts were auctioned and started in the period 2013-2014. The former Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Christos Spirtzis, contributed greatly to the completion of the project, and was subsequently the one who finally inaugurated it.

Signaling and remote control systems are the last pending works. Now the big goal is for the modern train to reach Patras, Idomeni, Promachonas and Alexandroupolis.

The construction of Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Every metropolis that respects itself and its culture, creates new places, new monuments, new places to be. In the case of Athens, the creation of Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is the ultimate urban construction achievement for the period 2010-2020. A construction situated in a privileged position, between Piraeus, Athens and the southern suburbs, which formerly functioned as a garbage dump has been completely transformed.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation, during the worst possible period for the country, due to the financial crisis, functioned as a beacon of light, in terms of constructions and culture with a large-scale combined project which started in 2013 in Faliron Delta.

In 2017, the place opened its gates becoming the ultimate destination for Athenians and visitors of the city. Even before the crisis, SNFCC gathered tens of thousands of visitors daily who wanted to see the impressive building complex that houses the National Opera House, the National Library, a large sloping park that also serves as a “roof” of for one of the buildings, a large walking space, a grove and a beautiful canal, making the water element the center of the park.

Its bioclimatic function with the roof, which is actually a photovoltaic park, the rainwater collected and reused, as well as its sustainable operation, is an example of other visionary centers around the world.

Its cultural activities with the library, opera, sports activities, festivals and social activities in addition to a great contribution to the improvement of everyday life was a point of global admiration with hundreds of articles dedicated to this great achievement.

The port of Piraeus

When in 2010 the private pier of COSCO took its first steps in the port of Piraeus, no one believed what was going to follow. In the decade 2010-2020, the construction of piers 2 and 3 in the port of Piraeus were completed.
These project may not tell you anything but they upgraded the port’s infrastructure transforming not only the port itself but the entire country.

The development of the port, which is currently among the top five in Europe, is due to these constructions. In 2010, the annual container traffic was around 600,000 and in 2019 the number had jumped to 5.5 million!

The constructions that started in 2010 and were completed in 2019, were demanding but certainly did not have the great technical difficulties that we may encounter for example in a Metro project or on a bridge. However, a construction achievement is what, with its construction, upgrades an industry as a whole. This happened with the port of Piraeus.

Thanks to the construction of these 2 piers, there was the necessary pressure to complete the works on the motorways and the railway as these pieces of infrastructure are closely connected to make the transport system work efficiently.

One can also consider the construction of the Athens Metro, which operated gradually until 2013 (towards Anthoupoli, Elliniko, Agia Marina and the 3 stations of Cholargos, Nomismatokopeio, Aghia Paraskevi), the three waste treatment factories in Kozani, Epirus and Serres to be also great construction achievements of the past decade.

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