Road building with a bang

by

On 23 June, Army engineers blew up the last obstacle on the route of the Strykow – Warsaw section of the new A2 – a viaduct built in the 1970s for the uncompleted ‘Olimpijka’ motorway at Nowa Wies near Zyrardow. Photo GDDKiA.

(Click to see a larger image.)

Modernisation of Poland’s railways limps along. Key EU-funded projects are cancelled and Zbigniew Szafranski, the chairman of PKP’s infrastructure subsidiary, Polskie Linie Kolejowe, warns that at the end of the EU structural funding period 2007 – 2013, Poland’s railways will actually be in a worse state than they were at its start. Unless new funds are found, some 7,000 – 8,000 km of railways are expected to close.

Meanwhile Poland’s Ministry of Infrastructure has made road building its No.1 priority. Approvals processes have been simplified and new procedures introduced to ensure that the paperwork necessary to pull down EU funds can be generated on time.

The Ministry’s reforms are already bringing results. In June alone, Poland’s Trunk Road and Motorway Directorate, Generalna Dyrekcja Drog Krajowych i Autostrad, progressed a number of key projects:

8 June Miekow by-pass funding endorsed by MI 65 million PLN
14 June Elk by-pass funding agreed by PARP
14 June Oleck by-pass funding agreed by PARP
17 June A1 motorway Torun-Kowal contracts signed 3.9 million PLN
18 June Jaroslaw by-pass funding agreed by PARP
18 June A1 motorway Lodz sections contracts signed 1,111 million PLN
18 June Pabianice by-pass contract signed 514 million PLN
30 June A4 motorway Krzyz section funding agreed 5,000 million PLN

In May, the Directorate received refunds of 223 million PLN from the EU for expenditure it had incurred under the aegis of The Infrastructure and Environment Operational Program. During this period the Polish Statre Railways infrastructure company PKP PLK failed to recover any funding of its EU funded projects. Moreover in June the Ministry of Infrastructure cancelled two EU-funded modernisation projects: Szczecin – Poznan – Wroclaw, and Warsaw – Bialystok – Lithuania worth a total of 10,000 million PLN.

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2 Responses to “Road building with a bang”

  1. Timothy Sanford Says:

    It is a pity that Poland doesn’t understand that roads are not sustainable investments. It is not too late for them to act upon this.

  2. Podroznik Says:

    While riding the bus through my city here in PL today, we stopped at a traffic light. While waiting, I counted 9! “L” learner cars at the intersection.

    People here are going car crazy, and demanding motorways. Meanwhile, the railways (I’m talking about you PKP IC) are doing their best to drive away their existing customers and absolutely nothing to convince drivers to return to rail travel.

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