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Photographer's Note

this is the Rio-Antirio bridge (officially called "Charilaos Trikoupis" bridge after the statesman who first envisioned it) crossing the Gulf of Corinth near Patras, linking the town of Rio on the Peloponnese to Antirio on mainland Greece.

The bridge was planned in the mid-1990s. Site preparation and dredging began in July 1998, and construction of the massive supporting pylons in 2000. With these complete in 2003, work began on the traffic decks and supporting cables. On May 21, 2004, the main construction was completed; only equipment (sidewalks, railings, etc.) and waterproofing remained to be installed. The bridge was finally inaugurated on August 7, 2004, a week before the opening of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens -- and the Olympic torchbearers were the first to officially cross its length. One of them was Otto Rehhagel, the German football coach who won the Euro 2004 Championships for Greece. Another one was Costas Laliotis, the former Minister of Public Works during whose term the project had begun.


The bridge height allows unobstructed navigation through the strait.The total cost of the bridge was about € 630,000,000, mostly funded by the European Union, and it was finished ahead of its original schedule, which had foreseen completion between September and November 2004, and within budget.

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Additional Photos by Assi Dvilanski (asival) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 293 W: 109 N: 750] (5307)
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