Nicosia to get phase 1 of ‘orbital motorway’ by mid-2023

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The first phase of the Nicosia orbital motorway, part of the Cyprus Transport Ministry’s plan to decongest traffic in the gridlocked capital, is to be completed by March 2023 at a cost of about €74 mln.

The ministry announced on Thursday that “the purpose is to alleviate traffic congestion at the entrance of Nicosia, providing an alternative route and connecting the southeastern and southwestern suburbs of the capital, without requiring the passage of vehicles through Spyros Kyprianou and Kalamon avenues”.

Due to increased inbound traffic both during the morning rush hour and the weekend traffic returning from holiday resorts, the section of the A1 motorway (Nicosia-Limassol) between the entrance of Nicosia and the intersection with the A2 motorway (Nicosia-Larnaca) was upgraded in 2012 to a 6-lane road

Phase A1 of the new project includes a 7.5 km-long stretch that will link the existing A1 motorway with the industrial area of Dali and Tseriou Avenue via the Lakatamia industrial area. It also includes 10 km of connecting roads and three elevated intersections to facilitate connections to the existing road network.

The cost for Phase A1 is estimated at €62 mln plus VAT.

The Department of Public Works had earlier in the year announced that the orbital motorway project was included in the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) as part of the Central Network of Cyprus and Orient – East-Med Corridor.

The Transport Ministry secured co-financing of €43.8 mln through the EU’s “Connecting Europe Facility” that provides funds mainly to infrastructure, transport and energy projects.

The Orient/East-Med Corridor connects large parts of Central Europe with ports of the North, Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas.

It focuses upon fostering the development of these ports as major multimodal logistics platforms and providing economic centres in central Europe with modernised, multimodal connections to ‘Highways of the Sea’.

The corridor incorporates the Elbe River as a key inland waterway and will improve multimodal connections between northern Germany, the Czech Republic, the Pannonian region and southeastern Europe. The corridor will also provide an improved link to Cyprus.

Upon completion of all phases, the ‘orbital motorway’ will connect the main highways of Nicosia-Limassol (A1), Nicosia-Kokkinotrimithia (A9) and the proposed Nicosia-Palaichori motorway. It will act as a ring road, contributing to the substantial decongestion of the capital’s main roads.

On July 16, phase B of the orbital motorway was approved by the European Commission, the transport ministry said. This concerns the section from the Nicosia to Palaichori road and linking to Makarios avenue in Lakatamia.

The entire project is to cost some €350 mln.