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VOAK motorway: detailed presentation of all the works to be carried out on Crete’s new motorway

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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The maturation of the large project for the construction of VOAK is underway with rapid steps. The axis that will run from Chania (from Kissamos in the future) to Agios Nikolaos is today the largest road project that is being prepared for implementation. At the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, a simultaneous study program is running and the goal is to activate the second phase of the competition in 2021.

What is key is the object of the project and the great techniques. According to the available information, VOAK will have 46 Level Nodes, 15 Tunnels with a length of 14.5 km and 40 Bridges with a length of 8.67 km. This is a large project that in many ways will be reminiscent of the construction of Olympia Odos, since a large part of the projects will involve the widening of the existing axis.

Remember that the first phase of the tender, for the expression of interest for both the concession section (Chania-Hersonissos) and the PPP (Hersonissos-Neapoli), started in 2018 with the presence of 5 schemes. In the process of maturation, we have already recorded the submission of the environmental study for the PPP section, while the submission of the study for the concession section is expected soon.

It is equally important that the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport secured 1.027 billion euros for the financing of the project. The 427 million euros concern funding from the Recovery Fund while the remaining 600 million euros will be covered by the NSRF 2021-2027. In addition, the implementation of the third section from Naples to Agios Nikolaos, which will be auctioned in 2021 as a public project, was covered with these funds.

The three sections of VOAK

In summary, the Northern Road Axis of Crete is divided into three subsections:

1st section “Chania-Hersonissos”, will be done with a concession contract and tolls for everyone, because the logic that it would be imposed only for tourists and not for Cretans, is contrary to European law.

2. in the section “Hersonissos-Neapoli”, 22.5 km long, the second phase of the competition started in April 2021 and the Environmental Impact Study has been submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

3. The section “Neapoli-Agios Nikolaos”, 14.5 km long, will be implemented as a public project, in fact its operation was added as an option to the PPP project.

The projects per department

Bypass of Chania

The bypass of Chania includes three uneven junctions in Vamvakopoulos, Mournies and Souda. The project has been constructed with two lanes in each direction and a safety railing. The cost of modernizing the project reaches 8 million euros.

Souda-Kalyves

A tunnel with a length of 1.22 km and two bridges with a total length of 1.09 km include the section Souda – Kalyves. The length of the highway is 11 km and the length of the side network is estimated at 8.9 km. The new section includes 3 uneven nodes in Platani, Aptera and Kalami.

Kalyves – Agioi Pantes

A 230-meter-long tunnel and a 250-meter bridge include the excavation in the section Kalyves – Agioi Pantes. The section envisages two uneven junctions in Kalyves and Agios Pantes, as well as a side network of 12.9 km. The construction cost amounts to 41 million euros.

Agioi Pantes-Vrises

Two uneven nodes in Vamos and Vrises include the section Agioi Pantes – Vrises. The section envisages a side network of 6.42 km, while the construction cost amounts to 19 million euros.

Vrises-Petres-Atsipopoulos

Five tunnels with a length of 4.59 km and 8 bridges with a length of 2.23 km include the section of BOAK, Vrises – Petres – Atsipopoulos. Five uneven junctions are planned for the section, of which two in Georgioupolis, one in Episkopi and two in Gerani. The construction cost amounts to 207.44 million, while the expropriation cost to 24 million.

Rethymno-Heraklion-Hersonissos

Rethymnon bypass

The new Rethymno bypass includes three uneven junctions in Atsipopoulo, Tympaki and Amari. The project has already been constructed with two lanes in each direction and a safety guardrail. The cost of its modernization work is estimated at 7.8 million.

Exantis-Fodele-Linoperamata

A total of 5 tunnels with a length of 3.19 km and 18 bridges with a length of 3.08 km include the section Exantis-Fodele-Linoperamata. The uneven junctions are 8 in total and specifically in Exanti, Bali, Almyrida, 2 in Sisses, Fodele, Agia Pelagia and Paleokastro. The length of the highway is 36.18 km, while the side network exceeds 35 km.

Linoperamata – Gournes

A road with two lanes in each direction and a dividing parapet will be the road from Linoperama to Gournes. The study envisages a total of 8 uneven junctions in Linoperama, Gazi, Messaras Street, Papanastasiou Avenue, Katsamba, Airport, Kartero and Anopoli, which will be constructed as part of the modernization of the network.
The cost of the modernization work is estimated at around 32 million euros, while the expropriations are estimated at 750 thousand.

Gournes – Hersonissos

Three uneven junctions in Gournes, new International Airport and Kastelli, include the route from Gournes to Hersonissos. The new alignment will also have two lanes in each direction and a safety guardrail.

Hersonissos-Neapoli

Hersonissos – Malia

Four bridges with a total length of 910 meters, a tunnel with a length of 375 meters and a side network of 1.83 km include the construction of the Hersonissos – Malia section. The construction of the new road includes two uneven junctions in Hersonissos and Stalis.
Construction costs are estimated at 48 million and expropriation costs at 1.2 million.

Malia – Neapoli

Two tunnels almost 4 km long, a bridge 425 meters long and three uneven junctions in Malia, Sisi and Selinari, are included in the new layout of the section Malia – Naples. The length of the highway is 13.19 km, while the length of the side network is 9.6 km.

Neapoli – Agios Nikolaos

Four nodes in Neapoli, Limnes, Lakkonia and Agios Nikolaos, includes the section of Neapoli, Agios Nikolaos. The specific section envisages 6 bridges with a length of 865 meters and a construction cost of 73.78 million euros. The new section also includes 11.2 km of side network.

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