In little more than three weeks’ time, a crucial new section of the Athens Metro is due to open, linking central Syntagma Square station with the Monastiraki stop on the old Kifissia-to-Piraeus electric railway. The tunnel and the station are already ready for use, and trial runs have been going on since February 24. Only 1.5 kilometers in length, the western extension of the Ethniki Amyna-to-Syntagma route (Line 3) proved to be perhaps the toughest part of the entire metro project, the first section of which was completed in January 2000. One major hurdle was the presence of dozens of ancient wellshafts just west of Syntagma Square, while the rickety state of buildings such as the earthquake-damaged Cathedral forced planners to alter their plans. Athens Metro officials estimate the new tunnel, which will start operating at the end of March, will serve 80,000 passengers daily.