Friday, 5 October 2012

More serious problems on the new Metro line

On Friday morning, the radio was warning commuters that less than three months after it was re-opened to traffic, ul. Marszałkowska was one more closed. The reason - a collapse in the pavement and roadway around Świętokrzyska station on the Second Line of the Warsaw Metro, currently under construction. I travelled one stop beyond Centrum to have a look.

Below: the Straż Miejska (lit. 'Urban Watch' or city guard) has cordoned off the junction of Marszałkowska and Świętokrzyska. Marszałkowska has been closed to traffic from Al. Jerozolimskie all the way to the junction with ul. Królewska and Grzybowska. Huge traffic jams coinciding with a mass protest from public sector healthcare workers.

Below: the red arrow marks the building under which the subsidence occurred. Eighty residents had to be evacuated from this block. Much of the city centre was without hot water, there was no drinking water for 13 blocks in the immediate vicinity of the subsidence.

This is the second station on the Metro's second line to have its construction seriously affected by underground water, which also caused damage to nearby objects; Powiśle station flooded in August, also closing the Wisłostrada tunnel.

This looks like a set of tough geological challenges; water-bearing soils, the Vistula escarpment, the vulnerability of adjacent buildings. I can see construction deadlines moving backwards and the whole Second Line project looking likely to drag on for years and years.

Below:  It's just gone ten, and ul. Marszałkowska, Warsaw's main north-south thoroughfare is deserted. Have the Martians landed?

By lunchtime road traffic returned to Marszałkowska, the trams returned by the evening as one of the underground cables providing power to the overhead wires had been washed away.

I hope the civil engineers and geologists can sort this one out and move on with building work on the Second Line without any further mishaps on the scale of this one and the Powiśle station flood.

This time two years ago:
Leonard Cohen in Katowice

This time four years ago:
The short-term future of suburban development (How right I was!)

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