PATRAS – “Today is an important day for Ilia, Achaia, Zakynthos and Cephalonia. After many years of delays and promises that remained just empty words, the works for the Patras – Pyrgos highway are moving forward,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday.
“I do not want to talk about the past. You are all aware of the history of this project. Unfortunately, the residents of Ilia and Achaia have paid a cost in blood for the fact that the completion of this project was so greatly delayed. In July 2019 we faced a series of major issues. I, myself, visiting many times before the elections, had made a personal commitment that this project will be launched and implemented. Of all the projects, the the Patras-Pyrgos project was the most complex due to tragic failures in the past. With perseverance and planning, we managed to convince the services of the European Commission. Negotiation was not easy. It was a personal wager for me,” Mitsotakis said.
“The project will be completed by mid-2025,” he promised and added: “There will be close monitoring by the ministry and the regional authorities in order to meet the deadlines. There will be a state-of-the-art highway that will connect Patras with Pyrgos and we will implement our commitment to reach Olympia. A unique place, so identified with the history of Greece. It deserves to get the access it should have. And this project will be made a reality by this government. We are proceeding with a series of important interventions, improving road safety on the old road.”
“For me, the most important aspect has to do with road safety. Closed highways are safe. A very important contribution to road safety. It is part of a large infrastructure development programme. We have committed to a series of major road projects that were stuck. Works will kick off and move at high speed,” he underlined.
“I know that the country is currently facing great difficulties as a result of an international crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has led to inflationary trends around the world. The war in Ukraine will end at some point. This road will remain. We promised it and we put it into practice,” the prime minister said.
Karamanlis: The new highway a practical proof that we provide solutions
The new Patras – Pyrgos highway is practical proof that we provide solutions based on the interest of many,” Infrastructure and Transport Μinister Kostas Karamanlis said on Thursday, at the start of work for the road’s construction in Amaliada.
“The new highway means road safety, new jobs, quality of life and a better daily life for the residents and visitors of the area,” he explained, while also announcing an upgrade of the road that connects Pyrgos with Ancient Olympia.
The minister stressed that “we saved a project, for which we did not know, not when, but whether it would ever be completed,” he said, referring to a “lost five-year period,” due to delays of the project by the previous government.
“Without the intervention of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, we would not be here to see the project begin,” Karamanlis said, referring to the prime minister’s interventions at the EU to unblock and accelerate the project.
In particular, he referred to the significant efforts made at the EU to expand funding beyond 2023, but also to the significant savings of public resources by the assignment to Olympia Odos.