Of Lemonia Vasvanis,
With its operation, the Flyover promises to ensure faster and safer movements for the people of Thessaloniki.
The first construction site will hit the road from the beginning of next week and the project will be completed in four years as mentioned by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Christos Staikouras at the official presentation of the project “Upgrading of the Eastern Inner Regional Thessaloniki through Public and Private Sector Partnership”, which took place on the evening of Monday 6/11/23 in a central hotel of the city.
The minister also gave two other commitments: for enhanced transportation and implementation of the Metro in 2024.
“Thessaloniki, in about four years, will acquire a new, state-of-the-art, aerial highway, which will contribute to addressing the traffic problem, ensuring faster, safer and toll-free travel,” said Mr. Staikouras.
It is about one highway 13 km long, and will include the construction of an Elevated Expressway – 4 km long – on a continuous bridge, 9 uneven interchanges, 10 new bridges and 3 new tunnelswith very significant benefits.
The Minister spoke of “an emblematic project in the region, which is recognized by almost all of the Local Government and organizations in the region”.
He explained that the benefits for drivers, residents and commuters are multiple:
- Free, fast and safe bypass of the urban fabric of the city of Thessaloniki.
- Increase in road safety, due to the reduction in the number of accidents.
- Environmental upgrading of the wider area, with a reduction in the volume of circulating vehicles within the center of Thessaloniki and an increase in the average speed of vehicles following routes outside the center.
- Improvement in the offered tourist product of Northern Greece, as currently the accessibility to “Macedonia” Airport and the tourist destinations of Halkidiki is not satisfactory, especially during the peak periods.
- Drastic reduction of transport time and cost and increase of competitiveness, especially of the secondary and tertiary sector of the economy of the Metropolitan Complex of Thessaloniki”.
Mr. Staikouras analyzed the initiatives to minimize the traffic nuisance, as this is the aim of the Government, the Local Government, but also the agencies, as he mentioned.
Regarding the improvement of transportation, he said that the following will be done:
- internal movements of OASTH drivers,
- provision of 150 new driver recruitments – for a certain period of time – in the OASTH,
- reinforcement of OSETH itineraries, in cooperation with the Administration of the Organization,
- and strengthening the fleet with 110 new, electric buses, until the end of April 2024.
In addition, the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport pointed out that in the wider region important road, flood protection, building and railway projects are being implemented by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, while reminding that in 2024, the Thessaloniki Metro will be delivered and put into operation, following the extension to Kalamaria with a time gap of about six months and preliminary works are being carried out for its north-west extension.
As Mr. Staikouras said:
- Road projects are being implemented, such as the road axis Thessaloniki – Edessa, the connection of the 6th Pier of the Port of Thessaloniki with the PATHE Motorway and the Egnatia Road, and the road connection of the Filyros Pediatric Hospital.
- Anti-flooding projects are carried out, such as those in the wider area of Lachanagora, the drainage of rainwater in the southern part of the Municipality of Kalamaria, and the arrangement of streams in the area of Oreokastro.
- Important building projects are on track, such as the reconstruction of the Thessaloniki Courthouse, the construction of 16 state-of-the-art, bioclimatic school units, the construction of an all-day Primary School in Evosmos, the energy upgrade of the region’s hospitals.
- The creation of a Regional Center for Civil Protection of Central Macedonia is foreseen.
- Major interventions in the railway network are planned, multiplying the possibilities of the port of Thessaloniki to serve passengers and cargo.
- The Thessaloniki Metro is delivered and put into operation in 2024, followed by the extension to Kalamaria with a time gap of about 6 months, and preliminary work is being carried out for its north-west extension.
- Construction of the New Eastern Inner Ring Road, known as the Flyover, begins.
“Thessaloniki is turning into a city of holistic development, improving the quality of life of its citizens and visitors and strengthening its geopolitical and geo-strategic footprint in South-Eastern Europe”, said the Minister.