Marathon project in trouble

In the face of significant delays in the completion of a crucial Olympics-related road project in eastern Attica, the government has decided to replace the current contractor early next week, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. The project to widen the highway from Marathon to Aghia Paraskevi – along which the marathon race will be run – is already six weeks behind schedule due to the contractor’s financial difficulties. Work stopped at the beginning of January, while crews employed by the contractor, European Technical, have been on strike since last Friday demanding six months’ delayed pay. The marathon aside, the project is highly important as the narrow highway is used by thousands of motorists heading for the beaches of eastern Attica during the summer. The road was supposed to be delivered on June 15 – two months before the opening of the Games. Ministry sources say it will be two weeks before another contractor can take over. But it is feared that construction firms already have their hands full with Olympics works and will be reluctant to take on the project.