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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-19

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Tempi may reopen by Easter

  • [01] Tempi may reopen by Easter

    Infrastructures, Transports and Networks minister Dimitris Reppas on Tuesday anticipated that the Athens-Thessaloniki national highway at the Tempi Valley intersection, along the Malliakos Gulf 'horseshoe' in north-central Greece, may reopen by Easter (in early April).

    The Tempi section of the country's main north-south highway has been closed to traffic since December 17, 2009 following a massive landslide, which claimed the life of an Italian engineer who was project director of a bridge being constructed at the site while arriving to inspect damage caused by falling rocks.

    Traffic is currently being diverted along other routes, while the government is mulling the idea of using a rolling highway to bypass the blocked Tempi valley, at least for heavy goods vehicles.

    "We believe that by Easter the road will be ready to reopen for traffic if the works begin immediately," Reppas said, adding that he was awaiting the finalised proposal of the construction consortium that holds the concession for the Tempi project, which will be immediately evaluated by the three co-authoritative ministries for speedy approval to enable the relevant works to begin.

    He added that according to a preliminary proposal submitted to his ministry by the consortium on January 15 outlining the framework of the works required, an estimated 16 weeks are required before the Tempi intersection may reopen.

    However, taking into consideration the findings of the team of experts set up by the ministry, the government believes that the target of reopening Tempi by Easter (which falls on April 4 this year) with completion of all the necessary stabilising and safety measures is feasible.

    Reppas said that the concessionaire consortium agrees that the works begin immediately, noting that, under the concession contract, the restoration work will be carried out by the consortium, but added that there was a difference in views as to who will foot the bill, but this will be decided through arbitration.

    "We will apply the contract and all its provisions, and we will not burden the Greek state. Arbitration will provide the answer," the minister added.

    He further announced two initiatives by his minister regarding Temp.

    Firstly, the TRENOSE railway company and other agencies are looking into the prospect of operating platform trains on the existing rail network to transport trucks and buses after some of the access works are constructed to the platforms at Evangelismos and Rapsani, he said, adding that TRENOSE officials are currently seeking such platforms in other European countries.

    Second, the concessionaire consortium has been asked to evaluate a recommendation by seismology professor Akis Tselentis for the installation of a system that will monitor and record vibrations and other phenomena on a permanent basis in the Tempi valley with seismographs, tachymeters and other instruments.

    Reppas further announced that the entire alternative road network currently being used, which extends over 400 kilometers, has been studied and is being upgraded so as to be used as a parallel network for the Thessaly region residents and more widely.

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