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A1 motorway, Piekary Śląskie-Pyrzowice section. The expertise and the repair project will be created within a year

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An expert opinion on the damaged surface of the Piekary Śląskie-Pyrzowice section of the A1 motorway is to be prepared by the end of September, and a repair program by the end of January 2024, the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways announced in a press release. She added that the Katowice branch of GDDKiA ordered for PLN 9.96 million the execution of documentation at Trakt.

According to information from the Katowice branch GDDKiA completion of design works in January 2024, it will then make it possible to announce a tender for works in order to start field works on the renovation of the motorway at the beginning of 2025. The agreement with Katowice’s Trakt provides, among others, performing author’s supervision during the implementation of works carried out based on the documentation prepared by this company.

A1 highway Piekary – Pyrzowice

Due to the strong undulation of the surface on this section of A1 in the province In Silesia, sectional speed limits apply – initially up to 110 km/h, and now also up to 80 km/h. The reason for the unevenness, according to the earlier expertise of scientists from the Silesian University of Technology, is the swelling of one of the materials used in the construction of the road. In recent years, GDDKiA has been leveling the greatest inequalities.

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The warranty period of the section commissioned in 2012 has ended. Irregularities that appeared during the warranty period in previous years were repaired by the contractor. The current damage must be repaired by GDDKiA within its own financial resources.

The length of the A1 Piekary Śląskie – Pyrzowice section covered by the ordered study is over 16 km of the motorway, plus a 300-meter section of the S1 expressway in the area of ​​the Pyrzowice junction. Design works are to concern road infrastructure and engineering structures.

In the technical expertise, the contractor is to specify what is the cause of the deformation of the motorway surface and how to repair it. Then he is to develop a repair program and design documentation for the repair. The contractor is also to obtain administrative decisions, prepare tender documentation, participate in the preparation of answers to questions from those interested in carrying out repair works, and perform author’s supervision.

According to the tender documentation, a technical expertise and a comprehensive repair program are to be developed within eight months of signing the contract. Within 12 months, design documentation for the repair of the motorway should be prepared and a decision should be obtained. Author’s supervision during the execution of works was assumed for a period of 80 months from the date of signing the contract.

GDDKiA stipulated that before the announcement of the tender, it asked the members of the Scientific Council at the General Director for National Roads and Motorways to familiarize themselves with the existing arrangements and materials regarding the renovation of this A1 section. Their opinions and recommendations were taken into account in the proceedings.

In the tender, which lasted from August last year, two offers were received. The Trakt company from Katowice offered a price of PLN 9.96 million, and Mosty Katowice – PLN 9.68 million (with the budget of GDDKiA PLN 10.4 million). Trakt received the maximum score in the criterion of experience of people assigned to perform the contract, which resulted in the selection of a slightly more expensive offer.

The section of the A1 motorway from Pyrzowice to Piekary Śląskie, over 16 km long, was built in 2009-2012 by Budimex, in a consortium with Mostostal Warszawa. The contract worth PLN 1.5 billion was signed in July 2009. In addition to over 16 km of motorway, two motorway junctions were built: Pyrzowice and Piekary, 19 bridge structures (eight road viaducts, eight motorway viaducts, two motorway bridges and one railway viaduct), access roads and two passenger service areas.

As the contractor argued during the implementation, the motorway was built there in a specific place – in mining areas. On some sections, it was necessary to strengthen the ground and install an electronic displacement measurement system. In places called ground anomalies, it was necessary to fill voids and sinkholes after previous mining exploitation.

PAP/Maciej Zielinski

Surface unevenness

The greatest unevenness of the surface of this section is found in places where the motorway runs along embankments. A similar problem has appeared in recent years on the section of the Drogowa Trasa Średnicowa in Zabrze managed by the local government; part of the warranty work has already been carried out there (the warranty for this route is still valid).

According to the findings of two independent research teams – scientists from the Silesian University of Technology and the AGH University of Science and Technology – the mixture of waste from mining and fluidized ash, i.e. a by-product of the combustion process in power plants, used in the foundation turned out to be the culprit.

The anhydrite in the ash was transformed, resulting in the crystallization of ettringite and gypsum. Then the volume of the material began to increase – even several times. The material fills the voids and later leads to stresses in the immediate subbase of the road and, as a result, causes bulges.

In 2021, GDDKiA took steps to help define the scope of the expertise and develop a recovery program. More than 50 boreholes were drilled for geological research. The tightness and condition of the rainwater drainage system were checked. Open pit excavations were made: the median strip, roadway, foundation, anti-frost layer and sewage backfill; elastic deflections were measured. The results are at the disposal of the road repair designer.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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