Motorway 1 (Greece)
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|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, 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 M-1. 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, part of the deal for the construction of the Ionia Odos, the E65, as well as the bypass of Tempe Valley.
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 Evzonoi 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 2015 it complies with all motorway standards for most of its length, except for 25 km through the Tempe Valley, to the north. Construction is under way to upgrade this part to a modern motorway. Among others, this part includes the longest road tunnel in the Balkans, which is about 6 km long, as well as 2 more tunnels. It was scheduled to be completed by late 2015 or early-mid 2016 and finally opened in November 2015. The new circular road round Athens now means that traffic can continue to the Peloponnese, linking up with the motoway under construction to the port city of Patras and that of Kalamata.
The exits of the completed sections of the A1 motorway:
A1 near the Greek-Macedonia border at Evzoni
- Motorways - Exit Lists, accessed 29 August 2012