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Promising signs for the construction of E65 Motorway’s southern section



The approval of Lamia-Xyniada section’s Project Envelope, the southern part of E65 Motorway, is now a matter of weeks according to the CEO of GEK TERNA, Mr. George Peristeris. Once confirmed, it will be a “happy end” of a prolonged waiting period that began in 2016 when the Project Envelope arrived at DG Comp in Brussels.

The approval will also trigger the beginning of the construction phase relieving hundreds of workers currently struggling with unemployment.

The project will be funded by NSRF 2014-2020 with 300mln euros. The duration of the works is set at 36 months, but the predicted construction time is likely to shrink as the “blind” section of E65 Motorway (i.e. the central section in the heart of Thessaly) needs the southern part desperately in order to be connected to Athens-Thessaloniki road axis.

Today, Xyniada-Trikala section, in spite of its great contribution to reducing time distances and bypassing the very dangerous curves of Domokos, remains the only covered motorway without a connection to the country’s motorway network.

The construction of the 32.5 km long road is divided into 3 distinct sections. The northern section, between Trikala and Egnatia, appears to have secured funds European Investment Bank but the construction is not expected to start before 2019. The implementation of this project is also expected not encounter the same delays with Lamia-Xyniada section, as it will not be included in NSRF, with whatever this entails.

The cost has been estimated at 400mln euros, while environmental licensing has been approved by the Region of Western Macedonia and the Region of Thessaly. However the problem here might be the required expropriations.

It is worth mentioning that the southern and northern part of E65 Motorway will have the same characteristics as the middle section of Xyniada-Trikala; it will be a covered motorway with 2 lanes per direction and an emergency lane.

If both constructions are activated during this year, E65 will be able to be integrated to the country’s motorway netowrok, all the way from Lamia to Grevena in 2021, transforming road transport to Western Thessaly, Western Macedonia and Epirus by offering significant alternatives.

It is noteworthy that Athens-Grevena and Athens-Metsovo routes will be covered in 4 hours, Athens-Kastoria and Athens-Kozani in about 4 hours and 30 minutes, thus bringing much closer the northwestern regions of the country to southern Greece.



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