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The driving time between Elliniko and Katehaki will be reduced to 10 minutes

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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λεωφόρος Βουλιαγμένης

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport intends to reach Attiki Odos up to Vouliagmeni Avenue and from there to Elliniko, reducing the required driving time to just 10 minutes. A few days ago, it had became known by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Costas Karamanlis, that the three extensions of Attiki Odos are proceeding as public works.

The first concerns the extension of Kymi Avenue to the National Road, the second the extension to the port of Rafina and the third the extension of the Western Peripheral Ymittos to Vouliagmeni Avenue.

The concept

In an interview last Saturday in “Nea”, Mr. Karamanlis said that “the extension of the Western Peripheral Avenue of Ymittos to Elliniko is in our immediate planning. It will even include an underground tunnel in Ilioupoli and new bridges on Vouliagmeni Avenue. The extension of the Western Peripheral Avenue of Ymittos to Elliniko is in our immediate planning. It will even include an underground tunnel in Ilioupoli and new bridges on Vouliagmeni Avenue “.

The expansion of the Western Peripheral of Ymittos is of greater importance in relation three as it will decongest the interconnection of the southern-northern suburbs of the city through L. Katehaki. What is provided there? The extension of Attiki Odos from the height of Katehaki to Vouliagmeni Avenue through a new “urban tunnel”.

According to information, the construction of a tunnel a little more than 3 km long, with 3 lanes per traffic stream, without exits, has started as a concept, which will start “sinking” at the height of Kaisariani (where the Western Peripheral of Ymittos ends today) and will end in connection with Vouliagmeni Avenue at the height of the border of Agios Dimitrios and Ilioupoli, a little south of the Metro station of Agios Dimitrios. The journey will take about 1-2 minutes when today it often takes up to 30 minutes at peak hours.

Vouliagmeni Avenue

Also, the same project includes the “free Vouliagmeni Avenue”, a project which is directly related to the operation of the new pole in Elliniko. What does this mean; The new tunnel from Katehaki to Vouliagmeni and the operation of “Elliniko” will add many thousands of new vehicles to an already saturated boulevard.
The plan of the ministry is the redesign and “liberation” of L. Vouliagmeni in a length of about 3 kilometers with the leveling of at least 4 level junctions today at the junction with Dodekanisou, Ethnarchou Makariou and Mavromichali, Independence-Cyprus streets and Ethnikis Antistaseos-Alimou Avenue. Throughout this section there will be 4 lanes in each direction instead of 3 today, with the abolition of the median. The end of the free avenue will be located at the height of Elliniko (from where it will continue as it is today).

The cost is 400 million euros

In total, the intervention is estimated at 400 million euros while the tender is not expected earlier than 2022 since the studies start at this time. The tender may be done by the method of design-construction. The project is completely necessary for the decongestion of Katehaki and Vouliagmeni Avenues but also for the smooth traffic in Elliniko. In total, it will take about ten minutes to get from one end to the other, transforming road traffic in the southern and eastern suburbs of the city.

This ambitious project could, under certain conditions, be funded by the Recovery Fund, with the basic condition that the required studies be run and approved quickly. From a traffic point of view, it is certain that we are talking about a sustainable project, while at the moment it remains to be discussed whether this specific extension, together with the other two mentioned above, will be included in the new concession period of Attiki Odos for the period from 2024 onwards.

Besides, just a few days ago it was finalized that the new tender for the concession of Attiki Odos will be conducted by the HRDH, while any extensions will proceed from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport as public works.

The Argyroupolis Tunnel

The probable connection of the pole of Elliniko through the Argyroupolis Tunnel with the “El. Venizelos” Airport will also be of interest for the southern suburbs.

Since last October, a memorandum of cooperation has been signed between RIS and YPOME regarding the extensions of Attiki Odos and part of it also concerns the investigation of the possibility of implementing the Argyroupolis Tunnel, either by road or by rail.

In addition, it is a project that exists in the Master Plan of Athens. In the Annex of Law 4277 / 1-8-2014 which based on article 40 constitutes together with the accompanying 9 diagrams of scale 1: 100000, an integral part of the law, in article 30.4.4. it is stated that: «… 4. The axis of the Argyroupolis Tunnel will be evaluated as one of the alternative solutions for the road connection of the Greek-New International Airport of Athens… “.

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