The government is ready construct a new Paphos to Polis road and improve the existing one, the House transport committee heard on Friday.
The ministers of finance and transport told MPs that the tender for the new road was expected to be announced early in 2018 with the project kicking off towards the end of the year. Completion is scheduled for 2021.
The road will most likely start at Ayia Marinouda, linking the motorway with Stroumpi some 16 kilometres northwest. The cost is expected to reach €60m plus the land appropriations along the way.
Plans also envisage a flying junction on the Limassol to Paphos motorway, two tunnels – 730 metres and 290 metres – five bridges, two flyovers, and nine undergrounds passages.
It will be a two-lane road with the potential of extending it to four in the future.
MPs also heard that the government was planning to start construction of the first phase of the Limassol to Saittas road, as well as the ring road in Nicosia.
Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said the decision was final and the transport ministry has been instructed to include the project in its 2018 budget.
Georgiades said the cost would be lower than what was provided in previous plans.
Transport Minister Marios Demetriades said he expected the tenders for the improvement of the existing road to be announced before the end of this month.
Of the Paphos to Polis road, Demetriades said it is “an exceptionally important project that has been pending for decades.”
Despite the economic crisis, he said, the government’s prudent policy and correct planning, through balanced budgets, made the implementation of important projects possible.
Original plans road date back to 2000 and had long been a demand of locals because of heavy traffic, dangerous bends and road accidents on the existing two-lane highway.
It would also cut travel time between Paphos and Polis.
However, critics consistently raised concerns as to the sensibility of the project which came with a huge price tag arguing it would cut travel time between the two towns by only eight minutes.