On March 14, the files for the tender concerning the extension of the Ionian Motorway, Ioannina-Kakavia, will be submitted. The project finally managed to be tendered after almost 15 years of discussions, claims and – many times – disappointments. The Contracting Authority is the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

The project completes the Ionian Road highway, which will have an additional area from Antirrio to the border crossing in Kakavia. The project budget including VAT is 310 million euros (250 million without VAT). Of these, 188.70 pertain to the Ioannina-Kalpaki section and the remaining 61.29 million euros are the section of the Kalpaki-Kakavia option.

The duration of construction is set at 54 months from the signing of the contract, i.e. a total of 4.5 years. Since the project will start in early 2024, it will be completed sometime towards the end of 2028.

The project is expected to mobilize major technical companies due to its large budget and importance. On March 16, the tenders will be unsealed from which the contractor of the project will be selected.

New road access to Western Europe

The completion of the Ionian Motorway axis is of national strategic importance as the country will be connected by motorway to the Albanian network and overall to the Adriatic Motorway. It is a new road axis starting in Trieste in Italy that crosses the Dalmatian coasts of the Western Balkan states and ends in Greece.

In a decade, once all the projects from Trieste to Ioannina have been completed, our country will have a new fast road access to the Western Balkan coastline and Western Europe.

Epirus and in particular Ioannina through this corridor will be transformed into a strong transport hub for road transport and will now have modern road access also to the north, strengthening the development character of the project.

The new section will have six uneven junctions and have 2+1 lanes. In the future and if the daily loads increase, another lane can be added.

The object of the project

The object of the project is the construction of the section of the Ionian Motorway from its junction with the Egnatia Motorway to Kakavia and the Greek-Albanian border. It includes two subsections:

– Subsection 1: Ioannina – Kalpaki. Beginning with the end of the concession contract (km position. 4+800) and ending with the end of AK Kalpaki (km position. 51+237.37) and a total length of 46.4 km of new alignment. The subdivision includes six (6) Uneven Interchanges, of which AK K3 Passaronos (km position. 21+940 – km position. 23+441) 1.47 km long, constitutes Option 1.

– Subsection 2: Kalpaki – Kakavia. Starting at the end of the UJ Kalpaki (km position. 51+237.37) and beyond the Kakavias border station (km position. 74+349.66) and a total length of 23.11 km, the upgrade of the existing road is planned, which is Option 2.

Specifically, the projects to be built include:

  • Completion of the Uneven Junction of Egnatia (K0).
  • Construction of the highway in the section “Uneven junction of Ionian Motorway with Egnatia Motorway to Uneven junction of Kalpaki with a length of 46.4 km (X.Th. 4+800 – X.Th. 51+237.37) with the construction of six (6) uneven nodes:

1. U/J. Kosmira – Asvestochori (K1), allows the service of the settlements of Kosmira, Asvestochori and Kontsikas from the Ionian Road and has the shape of a “diamond”.

2. U/J Grammenochorion (K2). It will serve to connect the settlements of Kontsikas, Lofiskos, Petralona, Perati, Grammenos, Vagenitiou and Polylofos with the Ionian Road and has the shape of a “diamond”.

3. Of U/J Passaronos (K3) (Option 1) from X.Th. 21+940 to X.Th. 23+441 which is intended to serve the connection of the areas of the northern part of the Ionian Road with the airport, the Industrial area and the urban complex of the city of Ioannina and secondarily provides access from/to the Ionian Road to the western areas of the Prefecture of Ioannina and also the eastern ones of the prefecture of Thesprotia. It is a three-legged uneven junction that is planned to be configured in the form of a “left

 4. Of Zitsa U/J (K4) which will serve the connection of the settlements of D.E. Zitsa but also the settlements of Petsali, Neohori and Lapsista with the Ionian Road and has the shape of a “diamond”

5.  U/J Karyon (K5). It will serve the connection of the settlements of Kary, Asfaka, Petsali and also the settlements of Central Zagori and has the shape of a “diamond”.

6.  U/J Kalpakiou (K6). It ensures access to the Ionian road in the area of Konitsa and, by extension, areas of Florina – Kastoria and will serve tourism/leisure trips to Zagorochoria and the Vikos – Aou National Park. The U/J is formed as a node in two half-trefoil levels with the branches located in symmetrically opposite quadrants.

  • Restoration of the cross and side network of local roads, where required.

The complete construction of the road network is included, namely:

  • Earthmoving,
  • Road Paving and Asphalt Projects,
  • Construction of technical Projects (4 Bridges, 5 Overpasses and 25 Underpasses, 1 Cut & Cover, about 120 small technical works – culverts – and 6 retaining walls),
  • Sewerage – drainage, marking – insurance projects,
  • Electric lighting of junctions, all Bridges, crossings, parts of the highway and parking areas,
  • Telephone infrastructure,
  • Irrigation – planting works and
  • Construction of the surrounding area in the declared archaeological site of Vortopos (including the construction of a hut).

In addition to Option 1 (UJ K3 – Passaronos) which was mentioned above, the object of the Project is also the upgrade of the Kalpaki – Kakavia subsection, 23.11 km long (Option 2), which includes:

  • Vertical and side roads 15.8 km long
  • 4 new Underpasses
  • 2 new Overpasses


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