Olympia Motorway was inaugurated earlier today by PM, Mr. Alexis Tsipras putting end titles to a seemingly endless project that lasted 8.5, frustrating for many, years.
In a festive atmosphere and with a numerous crowd attending the ribbon-cutting event, Ksilokastro to Rio road section was finally released to traffic. Infrastructure Minister, Mr. Spirtzis, Infrastructure General Secretary, Mr. Giorgos Dedes, Transportation General Secretary, Mr. Thanos Vourdas along with officials from the regional administration were also present.
The last pending sections of Olympia Motorway are in Kamari, Derveni, Arahovitika and Rio super-interchange, all 4 of which account for just 7 km of unfinished works. Time distance from Athens to Patra will be now reduced to just 1 hour and 40 minutes, a route that will be driven entirely in the much safer environment of the new, covered motorway.
Undoubtedly, Olympia Motorway was the most challenging project with regard to the country’s new motorway network. Works were carried out with simultaneous car traffic alongside the construction sites. Furthermore, Olympia Motorway is also one of the most strategic road axes of the country as it leads to Patras city, thus bringing one of Greece’s largest ports closer to the capital, while it interconnects efficiently 3 different regions of the mainland.
Adjusted toll costs between Elefsina and Patras will now be 11.50 euros (roughly 0.62 euros/km) paid in 5 toll stations. The overall cost of the project reached an impressive 1.487bn euros and encountered several problems during its implementation that certainly protracted its completion but were all successfully solved in the end.
Olympia Motorway is featuring 6 Rest Areas for the drivers, 12 tunnels, with an overall length of 25.6 km, 29 interchanges and 80 bridges. Panagopoula Tunnels are the most impressive, in terms of technical characteristics, pieces of infrastructure in the new motorway; constructed in a geologically unstable area, especially the third tunnel of the mountain's consecutive perforations, is 4 km long, 2nd only to Tempi Tunnel (6 km) in Northern Greece, which is also the longest in the Balkans.
Olympia Motorway today completed a crucial, missing piece of the puzzle for the country’s emerging motorway network. The ribbon-cutting streak continues tomorrow with the release of Ionian Motorway’s new sections.