|Part of E55|
|Length:||196 km (122 mi)|
|North end:||Egnatia Odos junction, Ioannina|
|Regions:||Epirus, West Greece|
|Major cities:||Ioannina, Arta, Agrinio, Messolonghi|
|Motorways in Greece|
Motorway 5 (Greek: Αυτοκινητόδρομος 5), also commonly referred to as "Ionia Odos" (Greek: Ιονία Οδός), is a major motorway in Greece, partially under construction. It runs through the western part of Greece. The total length will be 196 km. It will begin at Antirrio, Aetolia-Acarnania, after the Rio–Antirrio bridge and it will finish at the Egnatia Odos junction, just outside the city of Ioannina. It is part of the European route E55. In 2010, it was expected that the full length of the motorway would be completed by the end of 2013. Construction has been delayed significantly due to severe economical problems concerning the construction companies, slow progress of expropriations, archaeological investigations, lawsuits and environmental issues. However, by mid-2013 works throughout the motorway had begun again and they are expected to be finished by December 2015 or in early-2016.
The first sections to be completed were the bypasses of Patras (completed in 2002, now part of the A8 motorway), Arta and Agrinio, and the Rio–Antirrio bridge (completed in 2004) across the Gulf of Corinth. Construction of the A5 motorway has been granted to the consortium of "Nea Odos", which is also responsible for the maintenance of the Athens-Skarfeia(near Lamia) section of the A1 Motorway.
In late 2006, Greece signed a €1.4 billion deal with a Greek-Spanish consortium consisting of construction firms GEK Group of Companies SA, Terna SA, Cintra SA, and Grupo ACS. The consortium, now operating under the name "Nea Odos", will build and operate the road, receiving toll fees for 30 years, while investing a combined €1.15 billion in the project. The rest of the funds will be provided by the European Union and the Greek government. Construction, undertaken by the Euroionia Joint Venture (Terna SA, Dragados SA and Ferrovial SA) finally started in 2008 with a completion date of 72 months. The bill was ratified on March 28, 2007. Construction of the motorway stopped in 2011 because of the consortia's economical problems and no works had been under way until April 2013. Then, it was decided that the motorway (along with some other Greek motorways under construction) would finally be constructed in total by the 31st of December 2015.
Patras Bypass The Patras Bypass was one of the first parts of the A5, but now is cosidered a part of the A8 Motorway. Planning of the bypass began in the 1980s, but construction did not begin until the 1990s. It passes east of the city, through the foothills of the Panachaiko mountain, and consists of several tunnels and bridges. In October 2002, the bypass was opened to traffic. As a result, traffic in downtown Patras has significantly decreased.
Agrinio Bypass Opened in May 2009 with a length of 33km, the Agrinio Bypass was the first section of the A5 (after the name Ionia Odos) and the third section overall to be opened. It begins from Aitoliko and ends to Kouvaras. Construction of the bypass begun in 2002-2003 but it finished 6 years later. The road bypasses the largest city and economical center of the Aetolia-Acarnania prefecture, Agrinio. Before the road's construction, the drivers had to drive through the dangerous GR-5. Among the benefits of the bypass are the time and distance shortage (the trip from Aitoliko to Kouvaras took 38 minutes and it was 45km long instead of the current 20 minutes and 33km) and the safety that the road provides. It contains 4 interchanges, 2 of which are not operational yet.
Arta Bypass The 17km Arta Bypass was the second section of the A5 to be opened (the first if the Patras Bypass is not considered part of it). It begins from Sellades (a village before the city of Arta and ends at Filippiada, near the border with the prefecture of Preveza. Its first part (Arta north interchange - Filippiada was opened in 2003 and the second part (Sellades/Arta south interchange - Arta north interchange) was opened in April 2011, with the bridge of the Arta north interchange still unfinished. This bridge (and the interchange in total) was given to traffic in 22 November 2013.
The exits of the completed sections of the A5 motorway:
northern terminus of the A5
southern terminus of the A5
- Staff (July 5, 2010). "Western Greece will have motorway by 2013 end - FOCUS Information Agency". FOCUS News Agency. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- Staff (July 3, 2010). "Έως το τέλος του 2013 έτοιμη η Ιόνια Οδός, λέει ο Γ.Μαγκριώτης" (in Greek). Philenews.com. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- Greece signs €1.4 billion deal for west coat highway - Europe - International Herald Tribune
- Bill on Ionian Highway ratified by Parliament
- Motorways - Exit Lists