Thursday, 3 May 2012

A wide-angled look at progress on the expressway

A lovely cartoon by Andrzej Krauze in last Friday's Rzeczpospolita said it all; a wild-eyed urzędnik bursts into a government office shouting: "Minister! The motorways haven't built themselves!" Indeed.

Today's another public holiday, so an opportunity to see how much remains to be done on the S2-S79 expressway (or 'Elka'). The complete lack of security guards means I can indulge that perennial desire to explore the Zona; I walk into the underpass (below) which will take the northbound carriageway of the S79 to the airport. Emerging at the other end of the short tunnel, I see a total lack of asphalt between the tunnel entrance and ul. Gordona-Bennetta and the airport - just churned-up dry soil. No tweaking of saturation or vividness of image

Below: a grader sits on the northbound carriageway of the S79 minus a wheel. Above it, the flyover that will carry traffic from the airport towards town.

Below: corner of ul. Wirażowa and Narkiewicza. No visible signs of progress since my last visit here some three weeks ago. Overhead the viaduct that will take traffic from the airport to the southbound lane of the S79. Beyond, the footbridge...

Below: on the footbridge, looking westward towards the airport. As I mentioned before, the footbridge is a half-hearted structure; it should really have been extended by another 100m to reach the platform at W-wa Okęcie station. As it is, the footbridge, complete with its pair of wheelchair lifts, goes nowhere that any pedestrian would want to go.

As sharp-eyed readers may have noticed, I've just got a new lens and intend to use it! Yesterday I bought a Nikkor 10-24mm zoom, the widest lens I've ever owned (it's the equivalent of 15-35mm on a full-frame digital or 35mm film camera). Prior to this a 21mm Leitz Super Angulon was the widest lens I've used. Converging verticals can be dealt with using Photoshop, lens abberations with DxO Optics Pro.

And on to the S2. I visited the viaduct that carries ul. Złote Łany (lit. Golden Cornfields Street) over the expressway. Like the one on ul. Poloneza, it's 95% ready, but closed off to local traffic rather than simply be finished. To get from the airport to Dawidy, the only way is a terrifyingly undercarriage-scraping journey along the deeply rutted ul. Terlickiego, which still runs right across the width of the expressway. The S2 itself is easily accessible to vehicles, especially on days when there's no construction work going on. The bicycle is the best way to visit.

I fear that given the missed deadline for the football championships, the incentive to get on and finish this massive construction project quickly has dwindled to zero.

This time last year:
Snow on 3 May

This time two years ago:
Two Polands

This time three years ago:
A delightful weekend in the country

This time four years ago:
The dismantling of the Rampa
[Four years on, the developer's gone bust and Jeziorki's lost a landmark]

This time five years ago:
Flag day


Anonymous said...

Hi Michael, the 1st, Underpass, image is superb! Very reminiscent of my favourite painter, Jeffrey Smart :) I would like to thank you for sharing your life. U have been an avid follower for several years and found your musings an invaluable foresight for my move to Wrocław from Australia (I'm originally from Blighty). Cheers, and please keep up the wonderful writing and photographs, Richard

Maciek said...

Hi Michael, Love your blog ! Greetings from Porto ! Maciek.