Calatrava bridge still breathing

Over a year and a half after the government proudly announced it had commissioned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to design a monumental steel and glass footbridge over a main Athens thoroughfare, officials yesterday gave the first indication that the project is still alive. Attiko Metro, which is paying for the bridge that will serve commuters using the Katehaki metro station, said 12 construction firms had submitted bids for the project by yesterday, when the deadline ended. Initially, the 94-meter-long bridge – which will span Mesogeion Avenue at its busy junction with Katahaki Avenue – was supposed to have been finished early this year, at a cost of 1.32 million euros. Now, Attiko Metro says work on the elegant, harp-shaped structure, which Calatrava says was influenced by ancient Greek musical instruments, furniture and ships, will start after June, when the winner of the tender is announced, and will take a year to complete. The price tag – which includes an open-air, 250-space car park – has grown to 4.15 million euros.

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