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20 February, 2002
Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Tuesday said he was greatly satisfied with the progress being made in the construction of the Attiki highway and an extension of the Athens metro after inspecting worksites with Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou earlier that morning.
"I was very impressed by what is being done here," Simitis told Papandreou after visiting the Attiki Highway-Kifissias Avenue junction and the extension of line 3 of the metro at the Doukissis Plakentias station in Polydroso, Halandri.
In statements afterward, the prime minister stressed that the works were progressing on schedule and would be ready within the deadlines set, some in 2002 and 2003, while the remainder in 2004 before the start of the Olympic Games.
Simitis also underlined that the projects would greatly improve life in Athens when completed and urged local residents to bear with any inconvenience they had to put up with at present.
Papandreou stressed the large size of the projects and that they would transform life in Athens once completed.
According to the minister, the section of the Attica highway linking the new Athens airport with the Elefsina toll post and the western Hymettus ring road would be ready by the end of 2003, while a large section of the road from Kymis Avenue to Pentelis Avenue would be open to traffic by the end of the year.
The Kifissias Avenue underpass at the junction with the Attica highway would be ready and open for traffic by the end of the coming April, she said.
The giant split-level junction near the OTE building will have three levels, with the Attica highway itself and the suburban railway line on the lowest level, 13 meters below ground level.
Above this and three meters below ground level will be the Kifissias Avenue underpass and above this, on ground level, a circular junction that will be used to enter and exit the Attica highway.
Even more significant is the flyover at the Doukissis Plakentias junction, which is destined to become a transportation hub for Athens. When complete, this will link the western Hymettus ring road, the Attica Highway from Elefsina to Spata and the airport, the suburban railway and the Athens metro.
Due to be finished by December 2003, the junction will create road and rail links spanning Athens from Thriasio Pedio near Elefsina to the Mesogia in eastern Attica, from the new Athens airport from Mesogia to Piraeus, as well as the new Athens airport to Athens' western and southern suburbs.
The metro station at Doukissis Plakentias will be one of two constructed prior to the Olympics, with the second at the Stavros junction at the top of Mesogion Avenue and serving the northeast suburbs Halandri, Vrilissia, Pendeli and Agia Paraskevi.
The section of the tunnel to Doukissis Plakentias will be ready in a year's time, while the rest will be completed by spring 2004 and will be ready to begin operating by June 2004.
Another three stations are planned for the route, all of which will be constructed after the Olympics.
Other metro extensions due to be delivered before the 2004 Games are the line linking Syntagma and Monastiraki, due in December, and the extensions from Sepolia to Peristeri and Daphni to Ilioupoli.
Due after the Olympics is the extension of the Monastiraki line to Aigaleo.
Source: Athens News Agency