The countdown has begun for the signatures on the major road project from Ioannina to Kakavia, which essentially completes the axis of the Ionian Highway. Following the declaration about a month ago of AVAX as the provisional contractor, we have now entered the pre-contractual phase of the competition. With a new decision from the Ministry of Infrastructure, the project has definitively been awarded to the large engineering company.

Currently, all the necessary documents are being submitted by the contracting company, as according to information from, the contract for signing will soon be sent to the Court of Audit for approval.

Assuming there are no further delays, the presentation to Parliament will follow, and subsequently, the contract signing ceremony will take place, estimated to occur by summer.

The competition for this major road project had to be auctioned three times, as the first two auctions were canceled following an appeal that was accepted. The third auction was successfully conducted through the process of unsealing bids, with AVAX prevailing with a total discount of 17.5%. Second came TERNA with 16.5%, and third was the consortium DOMIKI KRETES-EKTER-ERETVO-TENA with 16.5%. Following them were INTRAKAT-METKA with 11.08% and ODOS-INTERKAT-ERGODOMIKI VOIOTIAS-ERGOKAT with 10.31%.

The cost of the project including VAT is 310 million euros, with an additional 76 million euros allocated for optional provisions, covering the section from Kalpaki to Kakavia and connections to the airport and industrial park of Ioannina. In total, the cost amounts to 386 million euros. The project’s contracting authority is the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

The project’s great significance

The road project from Ioannina to Kakavia is perhaps the most significant road project in the country today. The first and obvious reason is that it completes the axis of the Ionian Highway. With its completion, drivers will be able to travel on a safe and comfortable road from Antirrio all the way to the border crossing at Kakavia.

It is estimated that the distance from Antirrio to Ioannina to Kakavia, approximately 264 kilometers in length, will be covered in about 2 hours and 15 minutes. The connection of this road section to the Ionian Highway is expected to bring new development opportunities to the Ioannina region.

It will link with the Ionian axis, the Ioannina airport, the Industrial Park of Ioannina (which is one of the most active regional industrial parks in the country), tourist destinations such as Zagorochoria, and alleviate the northern part of the prefecture from road isolation.

This connectivity is anticipated to unlock economic growth and enhance accessibility for various sectors in the area.

Furthermore, the passage from Greece to Albania and vice versa through Kakavia will become even more attractive, as the journey from Athens to the border will require approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes.

This improvement will facilitate not only passenger travel but also enhance freight transportation between the two countries. Additionally, Albania is undertaking projects to improve the continuation of the Ionian Highway axis on its side. This coordinated effort is expected to boost connectivity and trade relations between Greece and Albania.

Certainly, we must not overlook that the implementation of the upgrade of the Ioannina-Kakavia axis will significantly contribute to improving road safety, ensuring safe driving conditions, and reducing traffic accidents.

This, combined with enhancing the driver’s experience on a safer and more comfortable road, where they can travel at higher speeds compared to today, will have a positive impact overall. The improvements in infrastructure and road conditions will promote safer and more efficient transportation, benefiting both drivers and the community.

The Adriatic Highway

The project consists of two sections: Ioannina-Kalpaki, which is 46.4 kilometers long and includes 6 grade-separated interchanges, and Kalpaki-Kakavia, which is 23.11 kilometers long. In total, there will be upgrades over a length of 67.5 kilometers. As mentioned earlier, the entire Ionian Highway will have a length of approximately 264 kilometers once completed.

The completion of the Ionian axis will connect it with an ambitious European corridor, the Adriatic Highway. This corridor starts from Trieste in Italy and runs along the Adriatic Sea through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Albania before reaching our country at the Kakavia border crossing.

This integration with the Adriatic Highway will enhance regional connectivity and promote economic and cultural ties across multiple European countries bordering the Adriatic Sea.

In our country, this corridor traverses the entire Ionian Highway and continues onto the Olympia Odos, terminating in the Tsakona area. In total, it spans a length approaching 1,500 kilometers.

The project was ultimately included in financing from the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), as part of the initiatives supporting the integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union. It is also known as the “Blue Corridor.”

This funding framework aims to promote infrastructure development and regional cooperation to facilitate the accession process of the Western Balkan countries to the EU.

The Adriatic Highway is considered to offer significant development opportunities for the countries of the Western Balkans, and for our country, it can contribute to developmental characteristics such as increased trade, road transportation, tourism, and cultural exchanges.

Epirus, and specifically Ioannina, through this corridor, will transform into a robust transportation hub, enhancing modern road access both northward and overall bolstering the developmental nature of the project.

For more details and the complete article in Greek, click here


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