Sunday, 11 August 2013

The end of the S2 takes shape

Last week as I mentioned the first, seven kilometre-long section of the S2 from Konotopa to Al. Krakowska opened to traffic, 14 months after the original deadline. Today, I cycled along the final stretch of the S2, from Węzeł W-wa Południe (originally known as Węzeł Lotnisko), to the end, beyond Węzeł Puławska. This being the stump of the S2 protruding east of ul. Puławska, a stump awaiting a further push onwards under Ursynów to the Vistula, over it via a new river crossing, then onwards via the Mińsk Maz bypass as the A2 to the Belorusian border. This (we presume) will be built at a similar tempo and to a similar quality to the rest of the S2.

Although the sky was bruising and clouds threatened another downpour, there were plenty of cyclists out along the S2, still a couple of months (at least) ahead of its official opening. Below: looking east towards Puławska, in the foreground a roadsign misleadingly directing drivers straight on to Terespol and the border (wait at least six years for this), or turn right to Sandometer (Sandomierz). A daft destination to put on a roadsign. 'Piaseczno and the South', it should read. Sand City's bigger and much nearer than Sandometer.

Below: the S2 crosses Puławska on the viaduct to the right of this pic (which is looking west this time). To the left, the embankment carrying the Warsaw Metro link line. But what's this? To my huge surprise, a bus stop. This rather suggests that ZTM is planning to run buses along the S2?

Below: is this a hair-pin bend on the Monaco Grand Prix circuit? No, this is the end of the S2. From the left: traffic coming up from Puławska will be merging with traffic from Poznań and Berlin (coming down the second lane from left) while the former traffic heads for Poznań and Berlin (up the third lane from left) and the latter crosses the former, heading for Warsaw (up the fourth lane from left).

Traffic lights will be installed here, which at least will cut down on serious accidents as two heavy streams of traffic merge, but I predict traffic jams stretching back to the airport at peak times. Below: a road-engineer's plan of how things will work east of Puławska. Click to enlarge. If you live south of here, this is how you'll be getting onto the S2 once it opens...

The M25, along which I travelled early last week, is a good object lesson for Warsaw. London's ring-road may be five or even six lanes in each direction - but can be thoroughly clogged. Imagine - six lanes of traffic stationary in each direction - that's what Eddie and I experienced last Monday week heading anti-clockwise between the M40 and M3. And the S2, Warsaw's southern by-pass, is just two lanes in each direction.

How much longer before the S2 opens finally? End of September I doubt, but by mid-autumn, before the first snows, is, I think, doable.

This time last year:
A day in Jewish Kraków

This time three years ago:
Dismal graffiti yields to street art, W-wa Żwirki i Wigury
[Photos for the record only; they were sprayed over by the mindless spray-can morons weeks later]

This time four years ago:
A dove in the house

This time five years ago:
Coming in to land from the east


Anonymous said...

What an immense waste of money. In a few years, when petrol prices soar and no one can afford to drive, it will be an empty stretch of pavement. If only the money could be put into public transport.

It's a pity that Poland is following the road-building insanity of the west.

student SGH said...

Cycled the same stretch, or even further west (up to earthmound on the road near Paluch animal shelter), no photo coverage this time (would be a copycat). The pace of works has noticeably and impressively picked up and I wouldn't cast such doubts on opening in late September.