The contractor for the new tramway route to Mistrzejowice will soon begin essential construction work. A ZRID decision has been issued allowing works to begin. What traffic changes can residents in the vicinity of the investment expect? The construction manager answered our questions.

Construction of a new tram route begins from Mogilska Street through Meissnera, Młyńska, Dobrego Pasterza, Krzesławicka, Bohomolca and Jancarza Streets up to the terminus in Mistrzejowice. Let’s try to go through the difficulties residents will be facing.

Wojciech Janosz, Construction Manager, Gülermak: The new route will start from the intersection with Mogilska Street, which will be rebuilt at the very end of the contract. Plugging the new trackbed into the existing one and changes in this area are therefore not planned until 2025.

Next we have Meissnera Street and the construction of a track between the roadways.

Yes, the trackbed will be built in the lane dividing the roadways. This entails redeveloping underground utilities beforehand. In order to free up space for the new track, it is crucial to relocate the district heating main, which is more than a kilometer long. Also, we are rebuilding water mains, teletechnical network, power grid, gas grid – all systems typical for a city. The utilities will be mainly under sidewalks and bicycle paths and they all need to be laid and put in order. This will be a large part of the task. In fact, for the first year of implementation the work will be carried out along the entire Meissnera Street. Importantly, we are taking into account MPEC guidelines related to the heating season.

What difficulties residents must expect here?

On Meissnera Street – from Mogilska Street to the intersection with Chałupnika and Pszona Streets – traffic will be routed on the two existing roadways with one lane in each direction: depending on where the work will be carried out at the time on the inner or outer lanes. There will be parking restrictions. There will also be restrictions on pedestrian and bicycle traffic, but we will try to minimize them.

Moving on to the Młyńskie Roundabout. The scale of changes will be much larger than on Meissnera Street. Will this also translate into traffic during the investment?

The section between the Młyńskie and Barei Roundabouts is by far the most difficult part of the project: a tram tunnel is being built here. In order to make it, we have to move a 400-meter underground section of the Sudół Dominikański watercourse, which today is in the lane separating the roadways of Młyńska Street (between the Młyńskie Roundabout and Miechowity Street). As part of our work, the watercourse will be relocated under the western carriageway. To this end, all existing underground networks have to be rebuilt, including the water main, which we cannot disconnect. It is necessary to make special temporary bypasses.

Depending on terrain and weather conditions, we should be able to complete the relocation of the Sudół Dominikański by about the 15th month of the project. The first three months will be devoted to network relaying, and then we plan to build the new Sudół. This means deep excavation. The western roadway of Młyńska Street – from Pilotów Street to the intersection with Miechowity Street – and the western roadway of Meissnera Street to the intersection with Chałupnika Street will be closed. Traffic will proceed on the eastern roadway. After construction starts on this section of the tunnel, the next stage of traffic organization will be introduced. We will notify it in advance.

What about the intersection of Polsadu Roundabout and Bora-Komorowskiego Avenue? Will there be a repeat of the traffic jams we had on Opolska Street due to the construction of another tram route?

The construction of an underground stop under the Polsadu Roundabout is a critical part of the contract. It is a large volume facility with two underground levels. It is comparable in scale to a subway station. Works in this area will last for the entire construction period: about 31 months.

Restrictions are inevitable. In the first few months, networks will be relocated: in stages across Bora Komorowskiego Avenue. In practice, this will require switching off two lanes and accumulating traffic on one – interchangeably left, right, center. Once we deal with the diaphragm walls of the underground facility, it will be necessary to switch off the eastern roadway of Młyńska Street from Miechowity Street to Polsadu Roundabout along the future station on one side and route two-way traffic on the other. This will certainly be a major challenge, but in contrast to the situation on Opolska Street, here traffic will be possible straight ahead at all times over the flyover. With our works we are interfering with important urban arteries leading traffic from south to north and east to west. There are no ideal alternatives, so hindrances are unavoidable. We will keep residents informed of all changes.

We have passed the intersection and are heading north. What will happen in the area of Lublańska Street?

During the first six months of the contract, we will be redeveloping underground networks located outside the roadway at this location. When the work is advanced, the eastern roadway of Lublańska Street will not be closed for traffic. It will be carried out in two directions on the western roadway. However, this stage is scheduled for the next year. After the tunnel section is completed, traffic will return to the eastern roadway, and works will be launched on the western roadway.

The tram resurfaces before Dobrego Pasterza Street.

Yes, in this section the tram is routed on the south side of Dobrego Pasterza Street, so there is no major interference with the roadway. During the first period of implementation, we are preparing the site for the construction of the new trackbed. There will be obstructions like temporary traffic shutdowns, manual traffic control, closure of sections of sidewalks. On a daily basis, we will try to move in the footprint of the future trackbed.

Further east, we have a track crossing to the other side of the street. Works here will be carried out in the later stages of implementation: in the second half of 2024 at the earliest.

We arrived at the narrow Krzesławicka Street.

There is no room for a separated bicycle path, so on this short section of the project, on Krzesławicka Street, cyclists will travel on the roadway. A separated sidewalk and turning places at the end of the street have been designed.

Works on Krzesławicka Street will begin as early as this year with the preparation of the area for the future trackbed. We will be in contact with its residents and access to the property will be provided.

And now the last section: Bohomolca and Jancarza Streets.

On Bohomolca Street, we are planning greater difficulties only next year: during the holiday season, when there is less traffic. Before that happens, we are dealing with underground networks, maintaining two-way traffic. The work will be carried out mainly outside the perimeter of the current roadway. The section in the area of Kniaźnina Street up to the designed tramway crossing will be thoroughly rebuilt. Going further north, interference in the road system will be relatively minor. For example, limited to the construction of an additional lane for turning into Reduta and Załuskich Streets.

And when the difficulties will be felt by passengers on the current Mistrzejowice terminus?

Works there are planned for the second half of next year. The assumption is that the obstructions cannot overlap with those on Mogilska Street. The terminus will be ready earlier. It will be made in a brand new standard. The layout will change and we will also plant many new trees there.

For how long will it be necessary to disconnect the trackbed between Piastowskie Roundabout and Mistrzejowice?

We assume that this will be a period of about five months. Bus traffic will run smoothly, so communication will be preserved. The tracks have to be closed, as the entire terminus must be dismantled and thoroughly rebuilt along with the overhead catenary. The work will also involve a section of the old trackbed and overhead line in the eastern direction, along with elevation changes.

What do we know at this stage about public transport?

Buses will run along existing routes at all times. Only changes in the location of stops and possible route adjustments are possible. In terms of tram transport, in the first year of the contract, the Mistrzejowice tram terminus will operate without changes. Restrictions will be introduced in the second half of 2024. The closing of tram transport along Mogilska Street is a matter of the last six months of the contract (in 2025).