Sunday, 3 March 2013

Construction site inspection

The first whiff of spring (very tentative and, according to recently updated weather forecasts, short-lasting) creates a great opportunity go out and check the progress of Southern Bypass of Warsaw construction. I last ventured to junction Lotnisko on the last weekend of November, being also the last weekend before onset of proper winter. I went there with my father, but without a camera (old broken-down, new still on a shopping shelf), this time my father preferred to sit in front of TV while I, with the new camera by my side, took a bus (more economical, practical and healthier solution than going by car), alighted it behind the intersection of ul. Puławska and ul. Ludwinowska and headed west towards the junction.

To the right – on my way towards the junction I pass by notorious ul. Poloneza. Funnily enough when I last strolled there, on 24 November 2012 some road-builders were dumping rubble there to harden the road. Makeshift arrangement has not withstood the thaw and some part of the dirt track turned into muddy swamp. For some strange reason the first section closer to ul. Ludwinowska is in a bearable condition, while the section adjacent to the state-of-the-art viaduct is not passable even for 4WD vehicles. The silver Nissan SUV’s driver made an attempt to make its way to the viaduct, but having got stuck on the first metres of the muddy hell reversed and turned around. As a matter of principle I keep my car away from such roads.

To the right – I turned up to my destination, having walked through underground technical track. The photo is badly focused (my fail!), but progress since my last visit here is not impressive. The junction has taken shape, if you are familiar with its plans, you can easily make out what is where, but the builders have a long way ahead of them.

To the right – the same place, looking towards ul. Puławska. The almost finished roads start east of ul. Hołubcowa (viaduct there still not ready), but west of the place where asphalt is cut short little has been done. The progress on A2 motorway sections forsaken by Chinese Covec and then by DSS could have been even worse in early March 2012, but builders got their act together and by some miraculous effort finished the road before football championships. The official deadline for completion of this road is the beginning of summer holidays of 2013. Given there is no incentive to open the road before a specific day, I find it hard to believe I will drive there before the end of summer holidays. By the end of the year, they are likely to make it, even despite their dreadfully sluggish pace…

A trip to junction Okęcie is also an opportunity to take some more snaps. Here’s where roads are built, rail infrastructure is developed and a place just below approach to Runway 33 of Warsaw airport. To the right – a blend of industrial scenery captured with use of max. 12.5x optical zoom. With such close-up the camera is sensitive to any movement of hands and despite picture stabiliser built-in, taking a good photo is a challenge. Here the task is exacerbated by various distance of different objects – rail posts, tracks, mounds of soil, lamp posts of S79 road, airport buildings, cranes. Still, despite adversities, I’m satisfied with the final shot.

The junction is a good, albeit not a perfect spot for plane-spotters. Here – the most uncanny picture of several taken yesterday. At first you might find it hard to find where the plane is. I was reluctant to try to venture the western side of the junction, where works are nearer to completion and from where photographing planes would be easier. Too much mud, too many working machines and security guards to violate health and safety rules…

And such was the state of my shoes after trudging out of the construction site. Totally soiled with mud, yet only them. My parents bought me these shoes in 2002 in a shop in Piaseczno for 49 PLN. The shop has long been wound down, but the shoes endured 11 years of every-day use – over that period I estimate they were worn on average every fourth day. Two years ago, when boarding a train on my way to work I caught on doorstep and sole of the right shoe came away. I glued it back at home and it has been holding together well until now. Who knew it would be they best purchase of footwear in my life? These days it would be much harder to buy such a durable item…

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