Infrastructure and Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis on Wednesday officially opened the 27-km section of the Ionian highway between the Amfilochia junction and the Arta ring road, during a low-key ceremony held at the 124th km of the highway. The opening was also attended by Administrative Reconstruction Minister Olga Gerovasili, an MP for Arta.
The 27-km section essentially completes an uninterrupted 182-km national highway and is expected to shave at least 20 minutes off the journey for motorists using that part of the road.
Spirtzis announced that the last section linking the Ionian Highway with the Egnatia Highway is to be delivered in the coming days, with the official inauguration by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to be held in early September.
He also referred to needless delays that had stalled the delivery of the Amfilochia-Arta section of the highway by several months due to problems with expropriations, noting that “some bear responsibility for the delays.” This was an issue that would be examined generally throughout Greece where similar situations concerning projects occurred, he added.
The projects will be fully completed, he added, when an electronic toll system charging on the basis of distance traveled was installed in 2018 and, following consultation with the concessionaires and banks that had funded the projects, there was a reduction in the tolls charged and completion of infrastructure works.
He noted the need to link major urban centers with the highway and the need to build anti-flooding works not provided under the original plans.