Maliakos work picks up speed

Part of the work under way to improve the treacherous stretch of road along the Maliakos Gulf section of the Athens-Thessaloniki highway will be ready in a year’s time, Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias said yesterday during a visit to the area. The minister said that he was happy with the progress of work on 20 kilometers of Greece’s most deadly stretch of national road. Souflias said that this part of the project, which includes the Aghios Constantinos and Kamena Vourla bypasses, would be complete by July of next year. More than 100 people have been killed in traffic accidents along this section of road since 2000. Work on the remaining 35 kilometers of road, which includes some of the most deadly stretches between Thermopylae and Aghia Marina, will be finished during 2008, according to Souflias. The improvement work is being carried out at a cost of some 800 million euros but the project has been seriously delayed as construction firms only began their work last year.