Aug 16, 2023
Locals hold party to “celebrate” 10th birthday of unused road bridge in Warsaw
Aug 1, 2023 | Society Local residents have held a birthday party to mark ten years since the completion of a road bridge in Warsaw that remains unused. They brought a birthday cake, non-alcoholic
Aug 1, 2023 | Society
Local residents have held a birthday party to mark ten years since the completion of a road bridge in Warsaw that remains unused.
They brought a birthday cake, non-alcoholic champagne and blew out candles to “celebrate” a decade of the structure (pictured above) remaining unconnected to the road system since its opening on 31 July 2013.
The bridge, which is supposed to link the southwestern Warsaw district of Ursus with the neighbouring town of Piastów over a railway line, has reportedly cost a total of 5 million zloty (€1.13 million)
Despite those costs, municipal authorities on the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement on completing the connection, and not a single car has yet crossed the bridge. It can be found on Google Maps under the name “overpass without access” (wiadukt bez dojazdów).
Currently, the site is mainly used as a location for outdoor parties and is, as a result, covered in broken glass. Members of local organisation Safe and Green Ursus (Bezpieczny i Zielony Ursus) decided to clean up the area as part of their “celebrations”.
The bridge was built in parallel with the Warsaw bypass, which runs alongside it. The two bridges running over the rail tracks side by side were built at the same time, one for the expressway and one for local traffic. Both were opened on 31 July 2013, but no access roads were ever added to the latter.
“The General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKIA), building a route for hundreds of millions of zloty, skimped on access to the bridge,” Karol Bąkowski from the Safe and Green Ursus association told local news website Warszawa Nasze Miasto.
He and his colleagues displayed a banner during the event reading “Ten years without access. Two terms [in office]. Five million zloty”, which they said they hoped would “encourage the local authorities” to finally complete the project.
A large crowd met at Katowice railway station to 'celebrate' the second anniversary of the escalator not working. They ate cake, drunk non-alcoholic champagne and sung 'Happy Birthday' at an event organised by a local NGO https://t.co/vluMCQGA5w
— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) July 7, 2019
GDDKiA, Poland’s national road authority, has rejected any blame for the delays, saying that the construction of access roads to the site is up to the local authorities.
According to Ursus district officials, the impasse has been broken in recent months, and in March the relevant documents were submitted for permission to complete the project.
“As soon as we get [permission], a tender will start,” said the authorities, quoted by news website Interia. “We hope it will be in the autumn. We already have funds set aside for this purpose.”
Poland's turbulent past has left a landscape filled with abandoned sites ideal for intrepid tourists, history buffs and ruin hunters.
We present our top ten, from a Nazi torpedo platform and secret Soviet nuclear site to a graveyard for kiosks https://t.co/TojsDVMuft
— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) April 20, 2021
During yesterday’s birthday party, the activists reported that the local authorities in Pruszków, on the other side of the bridge, have also initiated proceedings to obtain permission to complete the project.
“Maybe on the 11th birthday it will already be possible to drive a car or bus over the bypass? Or at least look at the construction of the access roads from it? We are keeping our fingers crossed for that,” said the Safe and Green Ursus group in a Facebook post.
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Main photo credit: Dariusz Borowicz / Agencja Wyborcza.pl
Alicja Ptak is senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She previously worked for Reuters.