The activists celebrated the overpass' birthday with cake, Source: Bezpieczny i Zielony Ursus

A road bridge in Warsaw that leads nowhere turns ten

A road bridge in Warsaw that leads nowhere turns ten

Activists organized a sarcastic birthday party as a way to point out the absurdities of Polish bureaucracy

Wiadukt bez dojazdów, or an overpass without access – this is how you would see the Google Maps description of a road bridge, which was meant to connect the Warsawian suburb of Ursus to the town of Piastow, in Poland.

The connecting facility (also known as WD-64 viaduct) was officially finished on 31 July 2013 and on Monday, some activists from the local organisation Safe and Green Ursus (Bezpieczny i Zielony Ursus) decided to mark the occasion with cake to mark the tenth anniversary of the overpass and also with a cleaning operation.

And the reason that bridge got that special treatment? No car has ever passed through it during that period because it lacks any connecting roads on both of its ends, due to a lapse in the road planning skills of the authorities involved.

A ghost viaduct – for how long?

Although it reportedly cost more than a million euros to build (or 5 million zloty), the investment has not helped the traffic connection between the localities at all. And since nature abhors a vacuum, the overpass has instead often become a preferred space for parties, hence why it’s been littered with broken glass and the need for a clean-up.

But why haven’t the road connections been completed? The question is even more puzzling given the fact that right next to it there is a fully functional overpass as part of the national S2 highway.

Given that this overpass was only meant to serve local traffic it got embroiled into a three-way argument over who has to complete its connections: the two municipalities on either side of it or GDDKiA – the Polish Road Agency.

GDDKiA, built the entire road for hundreds of millions of zlotys, [but] skipped the access to the viaduct. In addition, it is in such a place that it lies partly in Piastów, partly in Warsaw. This did not bode well for the case from the beginning,” Karol Bąkowski from Safe and Green Ursus told Warszawa Naszemiasto.

A decade later, it seems that there is finally light at the end of the tunnel regarding this investment. At least that's what officials from Ursus municipality say. They ensure that the road will be built by next year.

However, the activists themselves are sceptical about these assurances, reminding that the construction of the access road was supposed to start this year, and local councillors are reporting difficulties again. In their view, this underscores the need for a metropolitan act to be passed for the Warsaw area, which will regulate development in such junction peripherical points of the Polish capital.



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