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Rio-Antirio bridge making good time

Around six million Greek and foreign travellers along with two million vehicles are expected to cross the Rio-Antirio bridge each year…

Around six million Greek and foreign travellers along with two million vehicles are expected to cross the Rio-Antirio bridge each year, Environment and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis said.

Marking it as a highly significant infrastructure<.> project for western Greece, he said it would reduce the travelling time between the two coasts from 40 to four minutes. Laliotis pointed out that improvements in the road network stretching from Pyrgos to Kakkavia would also assist to upgrade local tourism infrastructure.

Gilles de Maublanc, director of the Greek-French Gefyra consortium which is undertaking the building of the bridge, says construction is proceeding at a very efficient pace despite the peculiarities of the area, such as the great depth of the sea, unstable ground and high seismic activity, while there have been no funding obstacles.

Construction of the bridge, budgeted at 750 million euros, began in July 1998 and 15 percent of the work has been completed. Under the contract terms, it should be ready by December 2004. Once finished, it will be considered one of the world`s largest cablestayed bridges of its type with the longest suspended carriageway at 2,252 metres. The carriageway will be linked to a system which it is said will enable the structure to withstand the most powerful earthquake.

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