Highway grows, as do tolls

From the end of January, Athens commuters will be able to drive from the Metamorphosis interchange on the Athens-Lamia national road to the international airport at Spata in 15 minutes, the government promised yesterday, adding that tolls for the new Attiki Odos highway are to increase. Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou said the 11-kilometer Metamorphosis-to-Yerakas stretch of the Attiki Odos – a new highway that will link the airport with Elefsina to the west, circumventing densely populated parts of Athens – will be ready at the end of January, earlier than initially expected. It will link up with the 19-kilometer Yerakas-to-Spata section, which started functioning last March. According to Attiki Odos officials, the Metamorphosis-to-Spata drive, with a speed limit of 120 kilometers an hour, will take 15 minutes. Papandreou promised that trees will be planted along the highway, where concrete is much in evidence. But she warned that the tolls, currently 1.20 euros for cars, will rise at the end of January. Sources say the cost will reach two euros.

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