Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras inaugurated the long overdue Corinth-Patras highway on Tuesday.
Tsipras inaugurated the 120-km section of the Olympia Highway saying it is ‘’an important work for Patras, the Peloponnese and Western Greece that would never have been completed if it wasn’t for the difficult negotiations with contractors and construction companies.”
“We are opening the road that was hindering the connection of Western Greece with the capital, we are opening the road to exit the crisis and supervision,” Tsipras stressed, adding that this is the strong symbolism of the work.
“It is a day of joy for Western Greece and the message sent is that Greece can once again stand on its feet,” he stated.
Attending the official inauguration was also Infrastructure and Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis, who noted the end of the long isolation of Patras, western Greece, Epirus and the Ionian islands.
“The more than 10-year road blockade of Patras, the third-largest city of the country is finally ending. There is finally an end to the fear of an accident on a road that was literally drenched in blood all along its length. There is not a family in western Greece, Aitoloakarnania and Epirus that has not mourned the loss of loved one on this road,” he said.
The Olympia Highway has a total length of 202 kilometres, from Elefsina to Corinth and then to Patras and the Patras bypass. The Corinth-Patras section inaugurated on Tuesday is 120 kilometres long, with two lanes and an emergency lane in both directions and 12 completed tunnels with a total length of 18 kilometres along its length.
The contractor’s obligations, in addition to building the Corinth-Patras highway, include the improvement of the existing Elefsina-Corinth section of the road and the Patras bypass, with a length of 82 kilometres.
The total cost of construction is 1.8 billion euros and the cost of land expropriations is 223 million euros, or 172 million less than the amounts originally demanded by contractors before renegotiation.
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