The Mystery of the Scaramanga Tunnels: A Path That Leads to Nowhere

Be that as it may, in Greece there are some “fantastic” constructions, both in terms of the money spent and in their idiocy. About which nothing is known: how much money was spent on them, and indeed, what it is, and why they were built at all, since they remained in a “frozen” form.

One of the most characteristic are the tunnels in Scaramanga, leading to nowhere. Many saw them, even more waited for their discovery, 20 years ago, some explored them. But no one has ever used them for their intended purpose. The reason is the unfinished “double” tunnels located in Scaramanga, near Iera Odos and about 400 meters from Lake Komunduru.

The tunnels are a very expensive “initiative” to create a road junction in the area. The “ghost” intersection was supposed to connect the Egaleo Peripheral Road with Iera Odos and would significantly normalize the traffic in this place, which would lead to partial unloading of the area.

The auction took place at the end of 1997, but the project was handed over to “Παντεχνική” in early 1999. The technical company undertook the construction of the road junction in March of the same year, with a budget of 13.46 million euros and completion of work in 2001.

However, even before the ink on the signatures of the document had dried, the company proposed, in April of that year, many modifications to the project. Among them is the design for two tunnels, which was not provided for in the original plan.

In fact, the construction, according to the company, will not cover the initial costs, most of which will be spent on compensating residents for the fact that their land plots will be used.

Despite the obvious waste of resources, the then competent department of the Ministry of the Environment, Spatial Planning and Public Works agreed to change the original design and construction of the tunnels. The corresponding report says that in this way the company that carried out the project will complete it in an even shorter time.

And while the project was progressing, and the purchase of plots began at a price that was already much higher than the initial estimate, there was a “surprise” that, probably, no one expected. One of the houses and the land to be sold to the company belonged to the owner, who flatly refused to leave her “native land”.

An elderly lady who was about to be compensated in the amount of 440,000 euros for the old house and 1.6 hectares that she had turned to the State Council (Συμβούλιο της Επικρατείας) because she did not want to leave “from her familiar place.” And the court ruled in her favor! The lady stayed in the house. But construction has stalled.

The construction company, meanwhile, asked for even more money to complete the project due to flaws in the first study and offered to make changes to the new project. An increase in the amount to be paid for the completion of the project (+27.14%) was approved in October 2001 and an extension was given for the period required until March 2003.

When the financial issue was settled, “Παντεχνική” was instructed to consider reducing the amount needed for the project, which it did. However, the construction company again demanded changes, as it required research and the purchase of new plots in the area from the owners.

At the same time, the company complained about overdue payments from the state. By a relevant document, she officially stopped work at the interchange and in the tunnels in mid-February 2003, while the costs by that time had reached almost 22 million euros.

Eight years later, in 2011, the tunnel “came light” thanks to a new study commissioned by the region of Attica, which again abandoned tunnels, in connection with a project involving the construction of a triple junction that would connect the western periphery of Egaleo with Athens and Piraeus, worth more than 50,000,000 euros.

This project was included in funding in November 2012. At the same time, the funds were “mastered” in September 2013, and four years later, after 2017, the Scaramanga road junction was included in the program of projects in the Attica region.

Calling it a project of national importance last fall, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure is bringing the completion of the project back to the fore. Its funding is covered by ΕΣΠΑ for 2021-2027 and the auction is expected to take place before the end of 2022.

As for the tunnels, they are still “forgotten and abandoned”, having turned into a real dump.

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