Saturday, 7 September 2013

S2-S79 opens - partially

As of Thursday night, motorists driving eastwards along the newly-opened S2 expressway can proceed a further 5km from Al. Krakowska to Węzeł (junction) Warszawa Południe (Warsaw South), and thence make a 90 degree turn northward, to join the S79 which will take them to Mokotów.

The final 2km-long section of the S2, connecting Węzeł W-wa Poludnie to ul. Puławska, is still unfinished, though this stretch is expected to be ready by the end of this month.

The S2, looking east towards Węzeł W-wa Południe, from Złote Łany bridge.
I must confess to being positively surprised by the sudden spurt of activity. What I saw on my bicycle journey along the S2 and S79 on 11 August offered little hope that the new expressways would be opened sooner than November. In particular the huge canyon that was the Kanał Załuski crossing under the S2 seemed to require months of work to complete - and now here it is, ready, with traffic flowing smoothly over it.

So then. Two cheers. When the S2 reaches Puławska (15 months late), it will stop there; and judging by the poor pace of infrastructure development, I'd be surprised if Warsaw's Southern By-Pass (Południowa Obwodnica Warszawy) actually becomes that - a ring-road allowing east-west transit traffic to skirt the city entirely - much before 2020.

The whole S2-S79 development that I've followed on this blog since January 2009 leaves Warsaw with three stumps going nowhere; the S79 at the southern end (terminating abruptly in a muddy field in Dawidy), the S79 at the northern end (terminating abruptly in front of an office development) and the S2 at the eastern end (terminating abruptly in bushes round the back of a shopping centre car park). As of now, there are no planned dates for commencement of work to drive these roads to their intended destinations.

Today's Gazeta Stoleczna has dedicated a whole page to the absurdities that surround the S2-S79 investment, the unfinished stumps, the 650m-long footbridge on ul. Marynarska to a bus stop that won't be functioning for years, the junction on ul. Wirażowa with traffic lights, zebra crossing, road markings... but no road running off from it. And at the other end, the badly-positioned sign posts that confuse drivers, the badly-synchronised traffic lights, the ill-thought-through lane markings... the usual aftermath of a newly (partially) completed road. It will all fall eventually in place, but when it comes to delivering transport infrastructure, Poland as a state still has much to learn.

Fingers crossed, then, that in a couple of weeks the citizens of Ursynów will wake up and be able to drive all the way to Poznań, Berlin and Lisbon from ul. Puławska without encountering any traffic lights.

This time last year:
Warsaw's second Metro line - progress in jeopardy
[a year on it's still years from completion]

This time three years ago:
Let no one send us to Kielce!

This time five years ago:
World's largest helicopter over Jeziorki

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sir, M25 (ring around London) was built by 13 years, the Warsaw one has been built since 2008, so 13 years period ends in 2021.