Two large VINCI Concessions motorway projects recently opened to traffic in Greece. Greek Prime Minister Aléxis Tsípras inaugurated the new section between Corinth and Patras April 11, extending the east-west corridor Athens-Corinth. This inauguration follows the commissioning of the new motorway between the Malian Gulf and Kleidi on the eastern coast, on April 6.
These two new motorways were built under concession contracts and their concession companies, Olympia Odos and Aegean Motorway, will operate them until 2038. VINCI Concessions holds a 30% stake in the first and a 14% stake in the second company. The investment amounted to €2.8 billion ($3 billion US) in total.
These two new motorways’ commissioning translates into a significant upgrade in safety standards and traffic fluency to the benefit of users
· The Corinth–Patras section is a new 120-km dual carriageway (two lanes each way) encompassing 12 new tunnels, 209 bridges, overpasses and underpasses, and 29 interchanges. The bridges and tunnels were designed specifically to blend the motorway seamlessly into its surrounding area and its spectacular views. This Corinth–Patras section completes the Athens–Corinth section now under concession, and provides a fully integrated 240-km network between the country’s capital and its west coast and the Port of Patras. The investment in this section amounted to about €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion US).
· The Maliakos–Kleidi section is a refurbished 240-km stretch. It includes 30 km of motorway extensions and involved building three twin-tube tunnels spanning 11 km in total. This new motorway skirting Greece’s east coast helps to improve traffic conditions and safety along this major corridor. Drivers will now be able to use a fully integrated network linking the capital to Thessalonica in the north of the country. The investment in this section amounted to €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion US).
These inaugurations put an end to the construction phase, during which VINCI Concessions’ program management teams successfully tackled numerous technical challenges including unstable geological settings, simultaneous rail line construction and the need to keep existing roads open to traffic throughout the works.
VINCI Concessions’ teams made progress on these two large projects despite the financial downturn that hit the country, through ongoing dialogue with Greek authorities.
With these two major projects, VINCI Concessions – which already holds the concession for the Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge between Rion and Antirion over the Gulf of Corinth – is helping to make Greece’s infrastructure more competitive and efficient, to the benefit of the country’s economic development. Construction work generated some 10,000 direct and indirect jobs at its peak, and operation will account for about 1,000 direct jobs.