Sunday, 4 March 2012

S2 to Puławska ready this time next year?

It was meant to be so good. Michel Platini announced on 18 April 2007 that Poland and Ukraine will co-host the Euro 2012 football championships, filling me with optimism that this will spur Poland's sluggish transport infrastructure development. With less than 100 days to go before the games kick off, I'm disappointed that things have turned out as usual. While the stadiums are built and working satisfactorily, the road and rail links will not be ready. Deadlines for the opening of Okęcie airport's rail link have come and gone (the last one being 29 February). It's possible that it will be ready in time for the football (indeed gives timetables from 1 June onwards).

Certainly the S2 (Południowa Obwodnica Warszawy - Warsaw Southern Bypass) will not be ready. Just look at its state today. The whopping great depression by ul. Oberka, some 200m long, 60m wide and 2-3m deep, needs filling. Below: The roadway is at 108m above sea level. That distant mound of earth is at 104m, the continuation of the roadway is at 106m.

Below: zooming into the gap between two stretches of asphalt. In the distance - the viaduct carrying ul. Poloneza. Still incomplete. On the horizon, the tower blocks of Ursynów - and no plan how to get the S2 under them and onto the Vistula, Minsk Mazowiecki and Moscow beyond.

The expressway needs to be taken under the main Warsaw-Radom railway line (below). Can be done without major disruption to rail services? It's certainly more than three months' work. Pre-fabricated steel bridge structures stand ready, but there's a tunnel that needs to be dun under the tracks. Carry on this way to Berlin.

The viaduct (below) taking ul. Hołubcowa over the expressway needs to be built and completed. If the dismal lack of progress on the parallel viaduct on ul. Poloneza, is anything to go by, it could remain unfinished two years from now.

And the flyover, roundabout and tunnel on Puławska - I can't see that being finished this year. What is certain is that football fans trying to get to Warsaw by road will have a tough time. If the airport station is complete - and if Modlin airport is finished and some kind of a road/rail link established - fine. Railway connections (airports excepted) should be OK with Dworzec Centralny facelifted and W-wa Stadion soon to be opened. Generally, however, count on chaos. So sad.

The first Warsaw match is on 8 June (Poland-Greece); Russia and Czech Republic are also playing in Warsaw.

This time last year:
In praise of blue skies

This time three years ago:
(Incidentally, Molesworth fans - Ronald Searle's obituary in the Economist a few weeks ago is a must-read)

This time four years ago:
Four weeks into Lent

1 comment:

Sigismundo said...

Nothing to worry about - If the fans coming to Warsaw are only from Greece, Russia and the Czech Republic they will hardly notice the chaos in Warsaw. It'll seem just like home.