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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Warsaw. The area above the cross-city line for development

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The current team of the Ministry of Infrastructure is already openly saying that it is returning to the concept of development over the cross-city line in Warsaw. The need for changes to the project will probably delay the investment, but will allow for city-forming changes in the future.

The renovation of the busiest railway line in Poland has been ongoing since 2020. The works that began then at the Warszawa Zachodnia station today they are coming to an end. The disruptions affected primarily railway passengers, but when the works move to the east, they will also affect tram and bus users, drivers and pedestrians. City center – from Towarowa to Powiśle – will be dug up. Railway workers intend to completely uncover the cross-town tunnel that runs under Aleje Jerozolimskie.

A spokesman for PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe confirms that the works will be carried out using the open-pit method. – The implementation of the new tunnel works will be related to the earlier demolition of the ceiling slab and the structure of the existing facility – replies Karol Jakubowski. In other words: the tunnel will be dismantled and rebuilt.

Railway workers plan that the works will last four years. – The signing of the contract for the preparation of the design and implementation of construction works for the cross-city line is expected in the second half of 2025. Completion of construction works for the entire project is expected in 2029, Jakubowski informs.

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This is the official, optimistic version, probably no one believes in it. Vice-President of Warsaw, Michał Olszewski, during a meeting with journalists in mid-February, openly described next year as a “completely unrealistic” date for starting work.

The artery will be closed while the cross-city line is being renovatedMateusz Szmelter, tvnwarszawa.pl

Area above the diameter for development

Its reality is even more minimized by the recent declarations of Piotr Malepszak, the current deputy minister of infrastructure responsible for railways.

– We want to complete the part of the task that was somehow abandoned 10 years ago, i.e. – taking into account the strengthening of the foundations in the design documentation – we want to be able to build a diameter at the top – said Malepszak.

This is the section along Aleje Jerozolimskie: from the Central Railway Station to the Warszawa Ochota station. Today, there is only one office building in this axis, the ground floor of which was an Ikea for years (this description identifies it much more effectively than the official, little-known name Swede Center). The triangular plot between this building and Jana Pawła II Avenue also belongs to the railway workers and allows for high-rise buildings. Right next to it, the Varso complex has been built in recent years, with the tallest skyscraper in the European Union. The previous authorities of the ministry and railways rejected this concept, according to the current ones, wrongly.

– This is a unique opportunity to use the entire area for commercial development. When it comes to an investment that is made once every hundred years, it is worth seizing the moment and developing the whole thing – explained Malepszak. He added that the decisions are consulted with the Warsaw authorities. – The city of Warsaw is very interested in the topic – emphasized the deputy minister of infrastructure.

When asked by tvnwarszawa.pl whether the open-pit construction method was a foregone conclusion, he said: – I would not like to prejudge the technological issues, because they must be refined with a view to minimizing disruptions to pedestrian and car traffic in the center of Warsaw. We will work on living tissue.

The plot at the Czterdziestolatka roundabout can be developedtvnwarszawa.pl

Works in the Warsaw East area

Changes are also expected at the Eastern Railway Station, although in this case the works will not involve traffic paralysis. Here, the railway workers are more advanced.

– The tender procedure to select a contractor for the works at the Warszawa Wschodnia station is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2024. Commencement of the investment depends on obtaining the required administrative decisions, including: construction permits and arrangements for postponing collisions with underground infrastructure – announces a spokesman for PKP PLK.

At Wschodnia, the platforms will gain a common roof, as was done at the Western Railway Station, and viaducts and tunnels will be rebuilt. However, the works will not cover the main hall of the station, which was renovated for Euro 2012. A metro is also scheduled to arrive here in 2030.

Eastern Railway Station – visualization UM Warsaw

Author:Piotr Bakalarski

Main photo source: tvnwarszawa.pl

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