Thessaloniki metro project ready to restart after delay

Thessaloniki metro project ready to restart after delay

A major stumbling block to the completion of the Thessaloniki metro has apparently been overcome after city authorities and Attiko Metro, the company implementing the project, agreed Tuesday not to remove archaeological ruins that were found during the construction of the Venizelos station. Instead, it was agreed that the necessary infrastructure needed for the station will be built on a different level below the ruins.

Attiko Metro also agreed to construct a special platform to showcase the finds, according to Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris.

Work on the subway, co-financed by the European Union, stalled after Attiko Metro engineers said the ruins could not technically coexist with the central station.

Keeping the ruins there, the engineers maintained, would have led to the scrapping of the central station. But the country’s Central Archaeological Council insisted that the finds should remain where they were discovered while archaeologists said that removing the ruins to another place would destroy them.

According to Tuesday’s deal, the finds will only be removed where metro entrances will be constructed.

The 3.5-billion-euro Thessaloniki metro project is expected to be completed by 2020, four years after the original deadline. Construction began in 2006 but the project was delayed due to archaeological discoveries.

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