Five major transport projects promise to relieve Athens by 2030. The traffic congestion experienced by the capital year by year is becoming more and more intense and as a result new infrastructure projects are needed to deal with it.

As has been noted and written many times in the last year, the Athenians who, even with the pandemic still with us, trust the their own vehicle. Even in these days deep into July, with many people on leave that are abandoning the city, traffic congestion simply won’t go away.

At this time, to deal with traffic, important transport infrastructures are being implemented and planned at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, that will be able to contribute to a more sustainable city. “gathered” the five most important major projects which are condensed into road and metro projects.

They concern interventions in the center of the city, in the east, the northern and southern suburbs and then the western suburbs and Piraeus.

It is worth noting that these projects are almost all long-term as they require major interventions and simultaneous traffic in many areas of the city. This will still be a challenge during the construction period, but the result promises better pedestrian and driver traffic. But what projects are these?

1. New Line 4 of the Athens Metro

The biggest public project of the last 20 years is a fact. Athens after the year 2000 when it acquired three lines, has a new fourth line under construction. With an initial cost (including VAT) of up to 1.8 billion euros, it is the city’s big bet for better transportation and immobilization of private vehicles.

It is the biggest transport intervention of the current decade and will relieve the city centre, the east and part of the northern suburbs. At the same time Attiko Metro runs one of the largest Metro projects in Europe with line 4.

The new “orange” line includes approximately 13km of underground line and 15 new stations: ALSOS VEIKOU, GALATSI, ELIKONOS, KYPSELI, DIKASTIRIA, ALEXANDRAS, EXARCHIA, ACADEMY, KOLONAKI, EVANGELISMOS, KESARIANI, PANEPISTIMOUPOLI, ILISSIA, ZOGRAFOU, GOUDI. At the ACADEMIA station there will be a connection with line 2 and at the EVANGELISMOS station with line 3.

It covers, as can be seen from the areas it passes through, densely populated areas and creates development prospects both in real estate and in the general economy of the above areas. The signings between Attiko Metro and the AVAX-GHELLA-ALSTOM consortium took place on June 22, 2021.

According to Attiko Metro’s studies, the disruption to the operation of the city will be limited, compared to similar projects in the past. It has been foreseen in the construction of the stations as the trench needed will be significantly reduced. Most of the work will be done by underground drilling and conventional machinery and part of the station and entrances by cut and cover (excavation and backfilling method).

Its completion and operation based on schedule is for 2029. According to the studies, it will serve 300,000 passengers daily, giving a big boost to the city’s road traffic network.

2. Urban Tunnel of Ilioupoli

The urban tunnel of Ilioupoli will start approximately from Sakketa camps and end at Vouliagmenis Street, approximately at the height of the Metro Mall on the border of Agios Dimitrios and Ilioupoli. Then the project includes leveling all the nodes up to the height of Glyfada.

The tunnel will be approximately 3 kilometers long and will consist of two distinct branches, one for each traffic stream. It will have three lanes per traffic stream and the latest in road safety technology. In the project, both value engineering and BIM technology will be applied, in order to contain the costs which are currently estimated at around 450-500 million euros, at current prices.

The Urban Tunnel of Ilioupoli will not only act as a relief for the southern suburbs but will contribute decisively to traffic congestion in the capital. It will essentially become part of a ring road with freeways (or urban freeways if you prefer) that will improve the required driving times.

It will function as a connecting link between the two large traffic rings of Lekanopedio, Attiki Street and Vouliagmeni and will essentially complete a free ring that starts from Faliro Uneven Junction, continues to Metamorfosi, continues with Attiki Odos to Katehaki and with the Urban Tunnel of Ilioupoli and reaches the Elliniko pole without traffic lights.

3. Extension of Line 2 Anthoupoli-Agios Nikolaos Ilion

It is a major transport intervention in the west of the city. The extension of line 2 from Anthoupoli to Ilion includes 4km of underground line with 3 new stations: PALATIANI, ILION, AGIOS NIKOLAOS. The maturity of the project by Attiko Metro is at a high level and the tender is expected in the coming months.

The cost of the project is estimated at approximately 350-400 million euros and will be covered in the first phase by the NSRF 2021-2027. It is the first extension to the western suburbs after 2013 when the Metro had reached Agia Marina and Anthoupoli.

With the new extension, the Metro will reach the north-western suburbs and cover densely populated areas such as Ilion, Petroupoli, Agioi Anargyroi and Kamatero.

It is estimated that the construction of the extension of the “red” line will require approximately 5 years. This extension will give access to the Metro network in the above areas which will be able to reach all points where there are Metro stations in significantly reduced times. Today it takes almost 50 minutes to reach the city center.

To give an example, from the “ILION” station it will take some people about 16 minutes to reach Omonia, while in less than 20 minutes they will reach Syntagma. Even further in the future, this particular station will also be a connection station with the extension of line 4 to Petroupoli.

4.Extension of Kymi Avenue to Lykovrysi

This project is the biggest transport intervention in the northern suburbs for 20 years. Kymi Avenue, a section of Attiki Odos, will reach Lykovrysi at the uneven Kalyftaki junction in Lykovrysi.

It will function as a road bypass of the Metamorfosi junction which is overloaded with traffic and will give new exits to everyone from/to the northern suburbs on the axis of L. Kifisos.

The construction of the road axis will be of the cross-section of a closed highway, with a total length of approximately 3.8 km. Completion with the ΝΗ connection No. 1 Kalyftaki junction is the subject of the option contract. The total length of the project is estimated at 4.2 km, together with the option of completing the Kalyftaki junction. Of the total project, approximately 2.4 kilometers are two urban tunnels.

In the project that is under tender by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the TERNA-AKTOR-INTRAKAT scheme will undetake the project. The signatures that will mark the beginning of the works are placed during Fall.

The duration of the works is set at 48 months, so if there are no delays, this extension will be ready for operation at the end of 2026.

5. Triple Scaramanga junction

This project is a major transportation intervention for Piraeus and the western suburbs up to the National Highway in Aspropyrgos. It will contribute in decongesting Schistos and Athens Avenues, which are currently experiencing significant traffic congestion.

This is a breath-taking project for Western Attica. With the construction of the triple interchange, there will be a direct connection of the National Road with L. Schistos, the semi-opened one at its southern end, Peripheral Egaleo, will be connected, while the opened “ghost” Tunnels at the turn to Skaramanga will also be completed and operational and before Lake Koumoundourou.

At the same time, the condition of the two unfinished tunnels will be examined. They are part of the contract and their current status should be thoroughly investigated. Furthermore, there will be a junction that will directly connect the Skaramangas Shipyards with Athinon Avenue.

With its completion and operation, the daily traffic flow from Athens to the industrial center of Aspropyrgos and Olympia Odos and to Schistos and the port of Piraeus will be significantly improved. The tender is being prepared by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and it is estimated that it can be released by the end of 2022.


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