NEWS

A noise barrier for the first 500 meters, plans to extend it along the whole road

Milena Kondou, head of the department in charge of the project (EYDE-ESEA) is particularly concerned about limiting the undesirable effects, acknowledging that «there will be big changes for local residents; they will certainly be bothered by it.» Kondou told Kathimerini that the section of the road from the sea front and Ethnarhou Makariou Avenue and up to 500 meters in the direction of Pireos Street was «particularly crucial.» This is where barriers will be erected to curb noise pollution before the road goes into use. Measurements have already been taken of the pressure the wind will exert on noise barriers, and the infrastructure has been built. However, as Kondou notes, «it isn’t clear what type of barrier should be chosen.» For now, study groups have undertaken to evaluate the problem and propose solutions. The difficulty in choosing the noise barrier, which will limit but not completely prevent problems for residents, is one of the reasons that similar constructions have only been erected along part of the Attiki Odos and the Drapetsona bridge. Whatever the choice, there are bound to be objections. As a Public Works Ministry spokesman said: «Transparent barriers suit the sense of open space better, but they won’t block out lights. Opaque barriers limit light pollution but they look like a wall right outside residents’ houses.» Kondou says all the conditions in the environmental study will be complied with and the road will not be put to use until barriers are set up at least along the 500 meters of road nearest the shore, where there are large numbers of apartment blocks. When the project is complete, a new competition will be held to install barriers along the freeway. Unfortunately the study makes no mention of light pollution, and there is no legal provision for subsidies for residents to purchase double glazing and air conditioners, nor does the Public Works Ministry have any plans to introduce them.