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EU blocks funding for Attiki Odos highway extension

Infrastructure Minister Kostas Karamanlis had announced that the expansion of the Western Regional Ymittos to Vouliagmeni Avenue would proceed as a public project. However, in recent weeks the ministry seems to have changed opinion.

Despite constant announcements from officials at the Ministry of Infrastructure saying that some extensions to Attiki Odos will be completed as public projects, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have stated that they will not finance road projects.

However, special projects within the urban network can be financed through tolls, due to heavy traffic. So, in the next two years we might see a tender for the new contract of the main Attiki Odos road (and the Western Peripheral Ymittos), along with a separate tender for extensions.

Due to financing problems, the Infrastructure Ministry keeps pushing back the tender for the extension of Kymi Avenue to the Kalyftakis junction on the Athens-Thessaloniki highway. The ministry wants proceed with the contract as a public project, but cannot find funds to do so.

Infrastructure Minister Kostas Karamanlis had announced that the expansion of the Western Regional Ymittos to Vouliagmeni Avenue would proceed as a public project. However, in recent weeks the ministry seems to have changed opinion.

Top ministry officials now say that a final decision on whether it will be implemented with a concession contract or as a public project will be taken in 2022.

In the construction sector, market watchers believe that the most probable solution for the implementation of the two extensions, as well as two others (extension to Rafina and Lavrio) will be through concession contracts. The implementation of some extensions is even necessary in order to decongest Attiki Odos. Through the extension of Kymi Avenue, about 30,000 drivers a day will dodge the Metamorfosi junction, where thousands of drivers who have even paid 2.80 euros on Attiki Odos suffer daily.

The extension of Kymi Avenue is planned to be done with a new 3.8-kilometer road axis that will include two tunnels, one 1,260 meters and another approximately 1,000 meters. The cost of the project is estimated at close to 300 million euros. The cost of extending the Western Peripheral of Ymittos to Vouliagmeni Avenue, which will be done with an underground tunnel, is much more expensive. The expansion cost to Rafina and Lavrio has not been announced.
 

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