Motorway 1 (Greece)
|Part of E75|
|Length:||550 km (340 mi)|
|Regions:||Central Macedonia, Thessaly, Central Greece, Attica|
|Major cities:||Thessaloniki, Katerini, Larisa, Lamia, Athens|
|Motorways in Greece|
The Greek Motorway 1 (Greek: Αυτοκινητόδρομος 1, code: A1) is a motorway in Greece. Partly under construction, it is the 2nd longest motorway in Greece. It is the principal north-south road connection in Greece, connecting the country's capital Athens with the regions of Thessaly and Macedonia, as well as the country's second largest city, Thessaloniki.
The motorway begins at Kifissou Avenue, Athens, just north of the Bay of Phaliro, and continues northward to Evzonoi, on the border with the country's northern neighbour, the Republic of Macedonia, where it continues as the M1. Before the European routes numbers were changed, the northern part from Efzoni to EO2 was E5N while today, the entire road is part of European route E75. The task of maintaining and charging for parts of the motorway has recently been ceded to private consortia, originally as part of the deal for the construction of the Ionia Odos. Each of them currently enforces a different tolling policy. From Athens to Maliakos Bay drivers pay twice northbound and once southbound, while on the part from northern Maliakos bay up to the intersection with A2/E90 in northern Greece (that part is named Aegean Motorway), drivers pay four times on both directions.
The part west of downtown Athens runs over the Cephisus river and Kifissou Avenue. From north of the boundary of Voiotia - Phthiotis, up to near Velestino, the tollway runs close to the coast of the Aegean Sea. It then continues north of the Tempe Valley and up to the junction of the European route E90. It then shares a 25 km common part with A2 / E90 (on a west-east direction), and then, at the "Axios Interchange", continues north to Evzoni and the national border with the Republic of Macedonia. Its total length is approximately 550 km.
The motorway used to be entirely a 2-lane highway and ended near Katerini until 1973. The section Athens - Lamia opened in August 1962 as a 14 m width road. The section Lamia - Larissa opened in October 1967 as a 14 m width road. The section Larissa - Katerini opened in September 1959 as a 13 m width road (except the Tempe valley pass opened as 10 m road). The section Katerini - Thessaloniki opened in September 1973 as a 14 m width road. The section Axios junction - Evzoni (border) opened in July 1973. The section Axios junction - Polykastro opened as a 14 m width road, while the section Polykastro - Evzoni (border) opened as a motorway.
When it was extended to Thessaloniki and to the border with the Republic of Macedonia, the motorway had 4-lanes. It was extended during construction in the north in the 1980s and the south in the early and mid 1990s which began near the Afidnes toll. In 1995, Motorway 1 had motorway characteristics in the sections Athens - Thebes and Kleidi - Thessaloniki, while the section Thebes - Kleidi was an undivided 14 m road. In 1998, the motorway had 6-lanes up to north of Thebes, and 4 lanes from Thebes up to the Tempe Valley with a few sections at western Magnesia still having 2 lanes. Since then, the Larissa bypass has been constructed. As of 2005 it complies with all motorway standards for most of its length, except for 78 km around the Maliakos Bay and 25 km through the Tempe Valley, further to the north. Plans are underway to upgrade to motorway status at these parts with bypasses at the Maliakos Gulf part, and new tunnels at the Tempe Valley part. Construction of the Maliakos part is almost complete, with only the Lamia and Stylida bypasses still unfinished. The tunnels at Tempe will be complete by 2015.
The exits of the completed sections of the A1 motorway:
A1 near the Greek-Repubilic of Macedonia border at Evzoni
- Motorways - Exit Lists, accessed 29 August 2012