After many years of protracted bureaucratic procedures hampering the implementation of the grandiose plan – the construction of the Salamina-Perama underwater link – it seems that the matter has finally “got off the ground.”
The project is recognized as one of the largest in Attica in recent years. As you know, the ferry service, which exists now, annually serves 4 million vehicles and 11 million passengers. That is why the project is so important for the development of the region.
After long delays, the approval of the environmental impact assessment appears to be in its final stages. Since immediately after that, the start of a tender for the construction of an underwater tunnel is expected.
It is estimated that the cost of the work will reach 500 million euros, which is likely to begin in early 2023. As for the completion date, due to the high technical requirements, this period may be 5 years.
The tunnel will begin in the Perama area, next to the swimming pool area (περιοχή του κολυμβητηρίου), where an appropriate junction will be created, and eventually reaches Salamina.
The underwater tunnel will have 2 lanes in each direction. The total length will be 400 meters (total length from 1 to 1.1 km with access from both sides).
For the needs of the project, sections of the bypass roads of the cities of Perama and Salamis will be additionally built in order to link the tunnel itself to the communication system. According to the plan, the new vector of the road will be laid next to the existing Schistos-Skaramaga Avenue and will extend to the Perama swimming pool area, near the current crossing (ferry connection).
From this point on, the underwater tunnel will begin. Travel time from Perama to Salamina will not exceed 5 minutes.
Where the tunnel route will pass, about 2500 years ago (in 480 BC) the famous naval battle of Salamis took place, therefore, the project provided for a thorough hydroacoustic and magnetic survey of the route, as well as the territories adjacent to the places where the future tunnel. The Perama-Salamis underwater submersible tunnel will greatly facilitate travel between the island of Salamis and the mainland.
The introduction and operation of the tunnel will allow several times to reduce the time required to cross the island, and get rid of weather dependence, which often, especially in winter due to storms, interrupts transport links between the island and the mainland. The tunnel will not remain the only road to the island. Also, as was implemented during the construction of the Rio-Antirio bridge, a ferry crossing to the island will remain available as a backup and alternative option.
An interesting element of the project is the proposed inclusion in the transport tunnel of a tram line, which will become part of the existing urban rail electric transport system in the capital of Greece.