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Tunnels and bridges make up over 80km of Egnatia Odos, the 680km motorway being built across northern Greece - the country's largest infrastructure project this century. The £18bn EU-funded route skirts the Balkans, linking Greece's eastern seabord with Turkey in the west. Backers believe it will boost regional political cohesion and the economy. In its central and eastern sections the highway negotiates fertile flood plains punctuated by craggy hills and deep gorges, while further west it is being carved through the unstable Pindus mountains. Providing suitable routes can be found through areas prone to land slippage, around the protected habitat of black bears, and across an internationally significant wetland, completion is due by the end of 2003. Project management is by Brown & Root.

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