Road workers are planning a complete transformation of Krucza Street. During the work, they made open pits to check the condition of the pavement under the asphalt. Thanks to this, they can plan the use of the surface in a new project.
Even though Krucza is not included in the register or register of monuments, road engineers and the design office cooperate closely with the conservator of monuments, from whom they obtained a number of tips and guidelines.
Before World War II, Krucza Street was paved. During the fighting, its buildings were largely destroyed. In the second half of the 1940s, the burned-out tenement houses were demolished. During the times of Bolesław Bierut, the street was significantly widened on the eastern side. The pre-war pavement was dismantled and reused. Archival photos from 1949 captured paving works, including laying the paving stones in a fan pattern.
In the 1970s, the cobblestone road was covered with asphalt. During the times of the Polish People’s Republic, the development of as-built documentation for such works was practically not accepted or it was incomplete and therefore unreliable. “This regularly makes it difficult to carry out any major works in the central areas of Warsaw, where hundreds of years of difficult history mingle together just below the road surface. These include both the remains of old tenement houses and historical surfaces, as well as various types of underground installations not included in contemporary plans,” he admits. announcement from the Municipal Roads Authority.
It’s like La Rambla
The comprehensive reconstruction of Krucza Street is one of the elements of the New Center of Warsaw program. Instead of a wide road, there will be more greenery and trees and a wide pedestrian avenue in the middle, modeled on Western European streets such as La Rambla in Barcelona or Unter den Linden in Berlin.
Preparations precede thorough reconstruction. “We started with a detailed communication analysis, including traffic intensity measurements and simulation for the entire area. Thanks to this, we chose the best reconstruction option and made sure that the proposed changes did not worsen traffic conditions in the center. On this basis, assumptions have been refined for designers, whose task is to prepare complete construction documentation constituting the last step on the way to reconstruction,” road engineers say.
The reconstruction project is currently being prepared. The company Mertium Projekt is responsible for it, which is also involved in planning the new shape of Aleje Jerozolimskie, i.e. the next stage of the New Center. These are complicated and multi-threaded projects that require seeking the opinions of many different entities responsible for individual branches of Warsaw’s development.
They expect archaeological discoveries
On Krucza Street, as in many other places, you can expect archaeological discoveries, including old pavements of historic value. This type of investments, already at the construction stage, are always supervised by archaeologists by default. This is the case, among others, with the reconstruction of Trzech Krzyży Square, Marszałkowska Street or the construction of Central Square.
However, just because discoveries are expected does not solve all potential problems. The key is: what exactly has survived to this day, where it is located, what condition it is in, and what recommendations the conservation services will give regarding possible finds.
“However, we are doing everything to prepare well for road works in difficult terrain. At the request of the Capital Conservator of Monuments, we have recently carried out open-pit works on the road of Krucza Street. In several selected points along Krucza Street, the asphalt was removed to check what was found. under the surface. In some places, there is actually pavement in relatively good condition just under the road,” ZDM further describes.
The works were carried out “under traffic”, only excluding single lanes on short sections. Our observations show that this did not cause any noticeable disruptions to road traffic. This is also a valuable observation that confirms the conclusions from professional research. Everything indicates that the ultimately planned single-lane cross-section of Krucza Street will be completely sufficient for it.
After documenting the findings, the pavement is covered with asphalt again. Its further fate will be the subject of talks with the conservation services. According to the current contract, the target reconstruction project of Krucza Street should be ready in spring next year. It is possible to incorporate the original cobblestone surface into it to some extent.
Main photo source: ZDM