April 16, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

New tunnel will connect Greece with Bulgaria

The construction of the longest tunnel in the history of Bulgaria has now been completed and will soon be put into operation to further improve communications with Greece.

Another piece of the puzzle that makes up the Struma motorway (part of the E79) will be put into operation in the coming days, reducing the time it takes to get from Athens to the Greek-Bulgarian border. According to Bulgarian media, the Zheleznitsa tunnel is the last section of the route, which takes its name from the Strymonas River.

The two-kilometer-long double tunnel is located near the city of Blagoevgrad in southwestern Bulgaria, with an initial project budget of 128 million euros. In addition to the tunnel itself, the project also includes the remaining road works needed to connect it to the highway, which has a total length of about 2.5 kilometers at the entrance and exit.

The Zheleznitsa double tunnel began construction at the end of 2019 and consists of two independent sections. The road section meets all modern requirements regarding safety systems, ventilation and infrastructure necessary in case of emergency (these are four pedestrian paths and two for vehicles, as well as a helipad).

The Struma motorway has a total length of 173.28 km and connects the Bulgarian capital with the Greek border and is also part of European Corridor IV. Motorway in question has strategic importance for regional development, as it will connect western and central Europe to the Aegean Sea through the neighboring country. The corresponding Greek section reaches Thessaloniki.

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