THESSALONIKI – The Public Works Ministry expects the Egnatia Highway to be ready in functional form by next year. Traffic on some sections of the 680-kilometer road stretching from Igoumenitsa to Kipi Evrou will utilize parts of the existing highway grid, as not all of the enclosed highway will have been completed by that date. With 40 kilometers of twin-bore tunnels, the Egnatia Highway is one of the largest road projects in Europe. It is due for completion by late 2006 early 2007. The time it takes to travel from Igoumenitsa to Kipi will drop from 11.5 to 6.5 hours. Among other benefits, it will connect four regions and 16 prefectures by road, and will provide direct access to 19 cities, 332 communities, five ports, six airports and 30 tourist areas.