07 Jul 2022

Pilot application of light-colored pavement coating in Theseus Tunnel at Kakia Skaka

  • Positive environmental impacts for Positive Mobility
  • New driving experience standards

Olympia Odos, proceeding with the implementation of its multi-level sustainable development plan designed and consistently applied to all the range of its activities, starts a new pilot project, i.e. the application of light-colored pavement coating in Theseus Tunnel at Kakia Skala, in the direction to Athens.

The aim is to exploit the positive results of the reflective features of the light-colored pavements compared to the dark-colored ones, while maintaining the operational features of the wearing course at a high level. The application of a special surface coating on a tunnel pavement results in the light coloring of the existing asphalt layer and therefore in the decrease of the necessary luminance level in the tunnel, thus having a positive environmental impact on the tunnel operation by allowing for a decrease of energy consumption.  

This is a best practice which has been implemented in Germany and Austria, in tunnels longer than 1,000 m, and largely in France, where the application of surface coatings making tunnel pavement surfaces brighter produces great results. 

This practice has a double environmental impact, allowing for energy consumption reduction thanks to a light intensity decrease, and limiting the need for pavement replacement, both resulting in the decrease of carbon emissions and resource use, in line with VINCI Concessions’ environmental policy and engagements towards climate and circular economy.

Important results are expected also in the field of road safety, where the light-colored surface of the pavement is expected to create a more comfortable driving environment. Moreover, reflective equipment (cat’s eyes) will be installed at every 10m along the curbs on both sides of the tunnel, while to keep the necessary contrast between the lane marking and the new light-colored pavement, a combination of a black boxed marking with a broken white line inside it will be applied. 

During the first weeks of the tunnel operation with its new pavement, and in order for the drivers to get used to the new environment, the speed limit will be set at 80km/h.

Then, once it will be confirmed that under these pavement color and marking conditions, the good experience recorded in the European Practices is also recorded in Theseus Tunnel, the new technique will be rolled out and applied to other Olympia Odos tunnels.