16 May, 2005
Ioannina, in northwestern Greece, will become an international road hub in the coming years as two new cross-country highways, the Egnatia Way and the Ionia Way, will cross each other in the area.
The Egnatia Way motorway, the most complex road-building project to be undertaken in Greece to date, is a modern closed motorway 680 kilometers long and 24.5 meters wide over the greatest part of its length, running northeast to northwest across Epirus and Northern Greece, from Igoumenitsa to Evros. The project, which was tendered in 1999, is due to be completed in 2008, while construction of the north-south Ionia Way motorway running along the country's west will begin in April 2006, with completion slated approximately 6 years after the commencement of work on the highway, environment, town planning and public works minister George Souflias announced on Saturday, speaking in Ioannina.
Souflias conferred with the Epirus region authorities, accompanied by his deputy minister Stavros Kaloyannis and ministry secretary general George Tryfonidis.
Souflias said that apart from the stretches of Egnatia Way currently under construction, the tendering procedures for the remaining works on the motorway, budgeted at 250 million euro, would be completed by September this year.
As for the Ionia Way, the companies that will undertake its construction, under the system of self-financing, would set up shop between late March to early April 2006, the minister said.
He explained that all the interested consortia had been provided last month with the studies and draft contract, so as to submit their tenders by September. The evaluation process would take place in December to select the companies that would construct the Ionia Way from Antirrio in western Greece to the Egnatia hub in Ioannina.
Source: Athens News Agency