By Eleni Boda
The leadership of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport will address the issue of demolishing the Varipombi bridge, which presents stability issues, and the issue of installing side tolls at Varymbobi and Agios Stefanos, which are still open. .
The original plan, which has not yet been implemented, was to demolish the bridge and convert Varibombi Junction into a ring road over the National Highway, with two small rings on either side to facilitate the connection. to the local road network. A side charge is charged for exiting Athens and entering Athens branches.
The case of tolls has been discussed since 2007, when the placement of side tolls at the Varymombis and Agios Stefanos interchanges of Nea Odos (as part of the concession agreement for the Metamorfosi – Scarfeia section) began.
The licensing process for specific tolls began in 2014, when the regional council of Attica expressed a negative opinion, while successive environment ministers refused to sign the project.
However, the project was not cancelled, while the Environmental Impact Assessment was sent by the Ministry of Infrastructure and approved in early 2018.
It should be noted that since the amendment of the concession agreement in 2015, the government has undertaken to cover the lost income of Nea Odos from the side tolls of Varipombi, Agios Stefanos and Chalkida, amounting to 25 million euros per year.
In fact, a few days ago the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport signed a decision to pay lost fees in Nea Odos for 2023.
The contract to start the works on Varimbobi Bridge is expected by 2022 and the toll gates will be opened on January 1, 2025.
However, former Infrastructure and Transport Minister K. As Karamanlis said, the government has suspended for three years the implementation of the side tolls at the Varimpobi and Agios Stephanos junctions and the Shimadari front toll.
“The toll booths will remain closed till the tender of proportional fares is held. Side charges will not be added,” said Mr. Karamanlis had said that in 2018 he also insisted that the SYRIZA government had revised the concession agreement and signed it with side tariffs on environmental conditions. Later suspension was also given, but he did not proceed with electronic/analogue tolls, leaving the matter unsettled”.
According to reports, the new leadership of the Ministry of Infrastructure will hold a meeting with the new mayors to address this burning issue.
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