NEWS

Capital’s ring road to be ready in November, almost to plan

Within two months, the last 22 kilometers of the Attiki Odos Elefsina-Stavros-Spata, stretching from the toll posts of the Athens-Corinth National Road at Elefsina to the Athens-Lamia National Road toll posts at Metamorphosis, will be handed over for public use. After crossing the Thriasion Plain, between the mounts of Aegaleo and Parnitha, and traversing the districts of Ano Liosia, Zefyri and Acharnes, the highway transects the Athens-Lamia National Road at Metamorphosis, before proceeding through Neo Iraklion, Maroussi, Halandri, Vrilissia, Gerakas, Pallini, Paiania and Koropi to end up at Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport. This last stretch will have eight two-level intersections, plus the spaghetti junction at Metamorphosis, which will have eight levels and will be ready in spring 2004 due to the difficulty of its construction. This stretch of the Attiki Odos will provide airport access to the western districts of Magoula, the Thriasion Plain, Aspropyrgos, Aegaleo, Ano Liosia, Acharnes and Metamorphosis. These districts will also have a road that bypasses the city and is only a 13-minute drive from the Athens-Lamia National Road. The highway is expected to relieve congestion in Kavalas, Kifissou, Acharnon, Liosion and NATO avenues. Costs The cost of this particular stretch comes to 235 million euros (80 billion drachmas). The contract was signed on May 23, 1996, and excavators moved in on October 1, 1998. Deadlines for the Elefsina-Aspropyrgos intersection and the Aspropyrgos-Metamophosis sections were July 2003 and April 2004 respectively, meaning the latter section is being opened six months early. The highway will have three lanes and one hard shoulder in each direction. The most difficult part of construction is the Metamorphosis junction, where road and rail – in the form of the Athens railway hub (SKA) meet. From Metamorphosis to Athens Airport, there will be a special middle section that will be split by the suburban light railway, while the stretch from Metamorphosis to the western end of the highway runs along the railroad to the Peloponnese, recently upgraded to double track. Flood works for this section took the form of a main conduit at Acharnes-Zefyri that is able to collect all surface rainwater for the whole of the Acharnes district. But the Aspropyrgos and Elefsina districts also gained flood works, making use of the streams of Soures and Mikro Katerini at Elefsina and with a conduit going all the way to Magoula. For the Elefsina-Metamorphosis stretch, a total of 39 overpasses and underpasses, three footbridges, six railway bridges and 15 tunnels were built. Responsibility for the functioning and maintenance of Attiki Odos will lie with Attikes Diadromes. Managing Consultant with the company Vassilis Halkias, speaking to Kathimerini, said that «monitoring the wear and tear on the asphalt surface will be conducted using highly up-to-date methods and any damage will be repaired immediately. At the same time, the six stations measuring noise and atmospheric pollution will observe fumes in the underground stretches. Moreover, the smooth flow of traffic will be supervised by the Traffic Management Center at Paeania.» As in the operational sections of Attiki Odos, the Elefsina-Metamorphosis stretch will have toll posts at all intersections and drivers will either pay as they go or pay by e-pass or special card costing 30 euros, he added. Doukissis Plakentias The three-level intersection at Doukissis Plakentias St will be ready in two months, when the section of the Western Hymettus Peripheral Highway leading to it has been finished, along with the rail works under way. There will be no junction at Gerakas, but a bridge there links Gerakas St to Attiki Odos. Drivers will be served by the Doukissis Plakentias intersection when it’s ready.