Highway grows, tolls up 60 cents

A new section of the Attiki Odos highway that will eventually link the town of Elefsina, west of Athens, with the Spata airport was opened to motorists yesterday. The 13-kilometer (9-mile) stretch between Kymis Avenue near the Kalogreza Olympic Stadium and the eastern Athens suburb of Gerakas joins two existing sections to create a 30-kilometer (19-mile) three-lane highway that will allow motorists to drive from the Lamia National Road at Metamorphosis to the airport in an estimated 20 minutes. Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou said the remaining section of the highway to Elefsina – scheduled for delivery in March 2004 – should be ready by the end of the year. Tolls have been increased from 1.20 euros for cars to 1.80 euros, although for the first week drivers will not be charged for the new section of the road. Motorists using cash-free options of payment (cards with 30 euros of credit or electronic transmitters) will be given discounts.