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The seven most impressive spans along the northern Greek route

Seven of the 10 bridges on the Egnatia Highway are claiming the title of the most important and pioneering designs in Greece, after the Rio-Antirio bridge, according to Egnatia SA. Krystallopigis. A long bridge over a valley, with twin split carriageways in the region of Paramythia, Thesprotia. The northern carriageway is 680 meters long, with eight spans and the southern is 848 meters long with 12 spans. The middle support piers are 10 to 30 meters high. The bridge is on seismically active terrain and has been designed to withstand major tremors. It was constructed using the advanced shoring method with state-of-the-art material that allows for speedy construction with a movable scaffold that can be transferred from one support to another, covering two spans. Using this method, one span, or about 55 meters of bridge, can be completed every two weeks. Votonosi. This bridges the Metsovitiko River near the village of Votonosi, 15 kilometers west of Metsovo. This cantilever bridge lies between two tunnels, Anthohori and Votonosi, with two split carriageways each about 500 meters long, built in sections beginning at each end simultaneously and working toward the center. It has only three spans, the longest of which is 230 meters, the second-longest in Greece after the Rio-Antirio and among the 15 longest in the world built in this manner. The foundations are on footings at a depth of up to 35 meters and 10 meters in diameter. Megalorematos. In the same region as the Votonosi bridge, this cantilever bridge spans a valley with twin split carriageways of about 500 meters each, with spans of 45 meters in length and support pylons approximately 32 meters high. It was built by the launching of box girders, each section being slid into place in the final phase. The bridge has seismic insulation systems that include hydraulic shock absorbers. Greveniotiko. This cantilever bridge provides access to the Egnatia Highway over the Greveniotiko River valley and is visible from the town of Grevena. One of the largest bridges in Europe, it has two split carriageways each 920 meters long. The average span is 100 meters, and the maximum height of the support piers is 48 meters. It was also built in sections from each end simultaneously. A typical technological feature of this bridge is the fact that hydraulic gearing structures have been installed at points between the bridge and the support piers that can function as hydraulic shock absorbers. Polymylos (G12). A 457-meter twin split carriageway over a gorge with five spans, the longest being 107 meters. The highest of the support piers measures 90 meters. All support piers are on footings of 9 meters in diameter, at a depth of 18 meters. Arachthos. Now under construction, this 1.036-kilometer-long bridge with a prismatic cross-section, is built on piers 60-80 meters high, every 80-100 meters along the bridge. The unusual thing about this bridge is that there are no joints on the deck. It will have passive seismic absorption mechanisms. Along with the Nestos River bridge, it will be one of the longest bridges on the Egnatia Highway. Metsovitiko. Also under construction, it bridges the Metsovitiko River outside the village of Metsovo, between two tunnels, those of Aghios Nikolaos and Anilios, with twin split carriageways each 540 kilometers long. The longest span is 235 meters and the maximum pier height is about 110 meters. This bridge is one of the most technically difficult to build, and has been designed so as to harmonize with the particularly beautiful landscape.