Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Look on my lack of works, ye tax-payers, and despair!"

Just over two months until the football starts. Looking down over the construction site of the new roads running into Warsaw, it's clear that there is absolutely no way, not even were a thousand athletes to eat a thousand cutlets, that the A2 motorway will be connected to Warsaw in time*. Officially, an August hand-off date is the current target - I don't see that either.

Above: Węzeł Salomea, where the S7/S8 (coming up to Warsaw from the south) meets Al. Jerozolimskie - the main route into town from the south-west. Click on photos to enlarge.

Above: the horizontal sandy scar will be ul. Nowolazurowa; it will cross three lots of railway tracks and finally connect up with ul. Lazurowa, linking the S7/S8 with Wola via Ursus.

Above: Węzeł Lotnisko, the junction of the east-west S2 (the Warsaw bypass - an expressway link from the A2 Berlin-Poznań-Stryków-Konotopa motorway running across the south of Warsaw) and north-south S79, just south of Okęcie airport. So much to be done here, least of all burrowing under the busy Warsaw-Radom railway line.

If the south-western junctions were complete, the lack of readiness of the easternmost stretch of the S2 wouldn't be an issue. But they're not - and they won't be. Tens of thousands of Czech fans will have driven across Poland for the first-round matches to snarl down in horrendous traffic jams outside Warsaw. What kind of impression of our country will this make?

Five years have gone by since the championships were awarded to Poland and Ukraine, and look now. The cities and private sector have generally done their bit. Agencies with a national remit, such as the motorways and highways authority, GDDKiA, and the state railways, have, unsurprisingly shown themselves to be wanting. (The junction of Al. Jerozolimskie and ul. Łopuszańska, a City of Warsaw project, was completed at the end of last year. It's visible towards the top of the first photo.)

For an excellent overview of where Poland's road building programme is right now, visit Student SGH's blog (this post).

* Follow-up comment, June 2012. I eat my words - the motorway was opened (though not completed) in time for the UEFA championships. It would be October before both carriageways were finally completed to motorway standard.

This time last year:
Old-school retail experience: PRL-flavoured carrot juice

This time two years ago:
Easter Sunday - Lent's over

This time three years ago:
Węzeł Lotnisko - site cleared - ready for construction work

This time four years ago:
Classic Polish automobile - the Polski Fiat 125P

This time five years ago:
Jeziorki in Google Earth


WPICity said...

Pozdrawiam Kolegę blogera z pobliskiego Piaseczna ;)

Anonymous said...

Saw that Nowak announced today the the train service from the airport to centrum will be ready by Euro 2012 (I bet not however - certainly not one that functions perfectly)


Anonymous said...

Who cares? This road ain't built for the Euro... And what is more, people who are silly enough to drive thousands of kilometers just to see twenty two man chasing a ball don't deserve anything but a shrug,