Two remaining sections of the north-south E65 highway running through central Greece, essentially connecting the cities of Kalambaka and Lamia, were turned over to traffic on Tuesday, attracting a high-profile government delegation amid a campaign season underway for the June European Parliament election.

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis himself attended the delivery ceremony at one of the tunnels on the new tollway, accompanied by Transport & Infrastructure Minister Christos Staikouras, whose election district is Fthiotida prefecture, where Lamia is the capital city. The latter cited the next 46-kilometer stretch up for construction, which will link Kalambaka to the north with the Egnatia tollway that runs across the breadth of northern Greece, from the land border of Turkey to the port of Igoumenitsa in the north Ionian Sea.

“We’re tying up loose ends from the past. In 2019 we had promised work sites around the country and today these sites are slowly starting to deliver finished public works to the citizens. Today is a very important day for central Greece, for Thessaly (province), for western Macedonia region and for Epirus (province) as we deliver a section of a very important motorway,” Mitsotakis said.

The new 136-kilometer highway is expected to reduce the Athens to Karditsa drive time to two and a half hours (under normal conditions), and some three hours from Athens to Trikala.

The lead company in the construction consortium is Gek Terna.

The E65 motorway is one of the few remaining closed road infrastructure projects in the country, with the Patras-Pyrgos stretch in the northwest Peloponnese and the northern tollway of Crete (BOAK) pending.