Alternative Route to Athens-Thessaloniki as highway parts still closed
Update: The Athens-Thessalonica highway was opened for traffic on September 15. at 17, 15 for vehicles under 3.5t. Also, the roads in Larisa, Karditsa and Trikala are open to traffic.
The Athens-Thessaloniki highway remain closed in central Greece on Thursday, September 14, 2023, due to flooding and mud.
Authorities suggest that the highway could reopen for traffic on Saturday or perhaps Sunday, September 16th and 17th. Essentially, Greece is divided in two because the highway is one of the country’s major central arteries, and a large part of it has been closed to traffic since September 9th.
Read more about catastrophic flood in Greece here.
Currently, there is no official information on the date when it will be reopened since water remains on the road. It is also unknown how the water will drain from the road, the condition of the asphalt, and how the flooding has affected it in terms of corrosion.
Yesterday, Wednesday, authorities reported that it would take another 48 hours to remain closed. Therefore, in an optimistic scenario, the highway may reopen on Friday, September 15th.
What is certain is that the Athens-Thessaloniki highway cannot be reopened unless special teams conduct on-site inspections and controls because parts of the highway are considered potentially dangerous for driving.
Alternative Routes Athens - Thessaloniki
Until the highway is safely reopened, professional drivers and citizens who wish to travel from Thessaloniki to Athens and vice versa will have to find an alternative route.
The safest route via the central highway (rather than the local network - which can also be in poor condition) is the Ionian Road, Athens - Patras via the Rio-Antirio Bridge and then the Egnatia Highway Janjina - Thessaloniki and vice versa.
The alternative route is longer, 280km, and takes nearly 7 hours.
Where Can You Find Official Information About Road Conditions?
On the website of the Greek police https://www.astynomia.gr/2023/09/10/10-09-2023-anakoinosis-g-e-d-thessalias-schetika-me-kykloforiakes-rythmiseis/, you can get information about road conditions. The posts on the site contain information about each kilometer of the road, allowing drivers to plan their trips accurately.
We remind you that those who follow this route will have toll-free passage, according to a recent announcement by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Christos Staikouras. This measure was initially scheduled until Thursday, September 14th, at 6 a.m., but it could be extended until traffic on the Athens-Thessaloniki route is fully restored.
Vehicles are allowed to pass for free: at the toll booth on the Rio-Antirio “Charilaos Trikoupis” Bridge, on the Egnatia Road toll road between Thessaloniki and the intersection with the Ionian Road, the Ionian Road, and the E65 highway in both directions.
Additionally, the passage from the “Aegean” highway toll booth on the section from Nikaea to Maliakos Bay (Pelasgia), including tolls on secondary roads in this area, is reportedly free.
Please note that on Wednesday, a section of the Larisa-Trikala highway was opened to traffic.
Learn more about the catastrophic flood that hit Thessaly in our article Catastrophic Flood in Greece 2023.
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