Monday, 3 May 2021

Another public holiday, another glimpse of the S7

With the builders off site, it's a good opportunity to see how work's progressing on the S7 extension. I climb the (now shrinking - see below) man-made mountain to get the best views. Below: this will be Węzeł (junction) Zamienie; I'm looking north towards Warsaw with a wide-angled lens. In the foreground, the access road, behind it what will be the slip road for traffic joining the S7 northbound.

Below: from the same spot, but zooming in to Warsaw's skyline, now dominated by Varso Tower, the EU's highest building, and higher than London's Shard. The S7 climbs and then bends to the left, crossing ulica Baletowa on its way to join the S2 east-west expressway, and the S79 which heads into town, at Węzeł Lotnisko, its lamp-posts visible in the middle distance (click to enlarge).

It's coming down now, my vantage point. Built just over a year ago, this stockpile of soil is to be used for building up ramps and other structures adjacent to the Węzeł Zamienie junction. About seven metres high, it offers superb views over the pancake-flat landscape of southern Warsaw. Where it now stands - on the very border of the city (just to the left of the heap) - there will soon be a roundabout for traffic coming off or joining the S7.

From the peak, looking south. The S7 is visible behind the piles of ballast in the middle distance. On the horizon, the radio mast at Łazy (officially called the Raszyn mast, it was the second-tallest structure on earth - and tallest in Europe - from 1949 when it was built until 1962).

Moving on south, past the village of Zgorzała, which lies just south of Warsaw's borders. It looks like rural Ohio! In the bottom right, a marker for where the acoustic screens separating the expressway's roar from the village will be anchored.

At the southern end of Zgorzała, there's another mountain of soil - though not as high - offering a good view. Looking north towards Zamienie and the Action warehouse. Two bridges can be seen crossing the S7 - the nearer one will carry a footpath and cyclepath; the far one will carry motorised traffic from Jeziorki to Dawidy Bankowe, replacing ul. Dawidowska which will be closed.

Zooming out, below. Behind the trees, Zamienie. My vantage points will soon disappear, and with them the chance to snap some extraordinary views otherwise impossible on these flat plains.

This is Section A of the S7 extension, from Węzeł Lotnisko to Węzeł Lesznowola. Work on Section C is nearly complete and open between Grójec and Tarczyn. Section B, between Lesznowola and Tarczyn, is problematic. Work here stopped in 2019 when it became clear that the contractor was unable to complete it on schedule. A new firm, Intercor, has just won the contract to build Section B, for 510 million złotys, with a deadline of November 2022 to do it by. Without Section B, the S7 extension cannot function. Will Section A be open next June just as a 7km-long stump, from the airport to Węzeł Lesznowola, or will it linger unopened, until Section B is completed - if indeed the new contractor can complete the whole of Section B in just 16 months? 

This time last year:

This time two years ago:

This time three years ago:
New roads and rails

This time four years ago:
The Gold Train shoot - lessons learned

This time five years ago:
The Network vs The Hierarchy in politics

This time six years ago:
45 years under one roof

This time seven years ago:
Digbeth, Birmingham 5

This time eight years ago:
Still months away from the opening of the S2/S79 

This time nine years ago: 
Looking at progress along the S79  

This time ten years ago:
Snow on 3 May

This time 11 years ago:
Two Polands

This time 12 years ago:
A delightful weekend in the country

This time 13 years ago:
The dismantling of the Rampa

This time 14 years ago:
Flag day

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