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Lefkada Underwater Tunnel: Technical Consultant found, studies to commence shortly

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The studies for the underwater Lefkada tunnel will start in the near future as the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport has completed the recruitment competition for a Technical Consultant. According to the decision of the Ministry of Infrastructure, the consortium THALIS MELETITIKI E.E. – P.TONIOLOS AND SIA EE was chosen with an offer of 133,000 euros. The initial amount of the relevant tender was 172,360 euros (amount including VAT).

Last summer, the Minister of the Infrastructure Ministry, Kostas Karamanlis, had announced the project during his visit to the region. This is a project that has been discussed for years in the region and is a burning desire as the current road entrance to the island during the summer months is “blocked” by the ever-increasing tourist flow.

The Technical Consultant will undertake the assistance of the Transportation Infrastructure Directorate with the preparation of a preliminary study of road construction and hydraulic works. The underwater project has been designated as a National Level Project, and has been included in the program planning of the General Secretariat of Infrastructure of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport as a “project to be implemented”.

The project is planned to be implemented by the concession method. The next stages are to complete its maturity so that the tender announcement can be issued. This process is estimated to proceed in 2023. It will be the second time that this project is attempted. In the previous decade, in 2013, again in the midst of a crisis, an attempt was made to promote the project, but finally the tender in 2015 was canceled

The tunnel and the wider road network

The project of constructing an underwater link between Lefkada and Aitoloakarnania is considered by many to be a necessary project. This is due to the heavy traffic at the entrance of the island during the summer months.

The Lefkada-Aitoloakarnania undersea link will breathe life into the city of the island, while when connected it will be the end of the under construction project of the double connection of Lefkada with Amvrakia Odos which will be operational in 2023.

Along the highway that will reach Amvrakia, it will create a road axis that will take the driver about 40 minutes. The distance from Athens will shrink to approximately 3 hours, that is 40 minutes less than today.

At the same time, it will be possible to further develop the road tourism of Lefkada, without excessively burdening the operation of the city which suffers for almost 4 months every year.

The design of the project

The connection of Lefkada with the national network will be made with projects of a total length of 3.11 km. More specifically, 1.24 km will be built on an embankment, for the passage under the Lefkada channel, an underwater tunnel with a total length of 1,030 m is planned, of which 450 m. refer to the section of closed section, while 310 m. and 270 m. refer to the entrance and exit approaches respectively.

The restoration of the local road network concerns a length of 1.2 km. The proposed construction method Distribution through the underwater tunnel is based on the construction of the tunnel on land, with excavation and backfilling.

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