Work on the second part of the construction of the waterway linking the Vistula Lagoon with the Bay of Gdańsk gathers pace

News date: September 30, 2021
Work on the second part of the construction of the waterway linking the Vistula Lagoon with the Bay of Gdańsk gathers pace

“We are already in the second phase of the government investment that will connect the waters of the Vistula Lagoon and the port in Elbląg with the Bay of Gdańsk. Thanks to this investment there will be a new route on the map of Poland, a waterway that will allow unhindered and free navigation under both Polish and third country flags. The commencement of works on a part of the waterway on the Elbląg River is important for the timely implementation of the multiannual programme adopted by the Council of Ministers in 2016,” said Deputy Minister for Infrastructure Marek Gróbarczyk.


Currently, the contractor has started works related to the strengthening of the subsoil for the road leading to the bridge that will be built in Nowakowo. Work is also underway to prepare technological roads and develop the construction site in terms of logistics.


“The second stage consists in shoring the banks of the Elbląg river, reconstruction of the teletechnical and power collisions, as well as construction of a section of the district road and a rotary bridge over the Elbląg river. At the moment, we are at the stage of making technological roads and strengthening works for road embankments, which are made with the use of prefabricated drains and overload embankments as well as concrete columns reinforced with steel profiles,” says Michał Tersa, Deputy Contract Manager at Budimex SA. “During the next stage, the foundation of the bridge structure will be made. Once the reinforcement works have been completed, we will move on to constructing embankments and supports for the rotary bridge,” adds Michał Tersa.


In the coming days the first transport of sheet piling from Luxembourg will arrive at the Port of Gdańsk. The walls will be reloaded onto transport pontoons and delivered by waterway to the construction site of the new waterway. The walls will be used for lining a new section of the waterway on the Elbląg River.  The total area of the new walls and banks of the Elbląg River will be over 300 km2.


The contractor will then proceed with pile-driving works.


“The construction of the waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Bay of Gdańsk entered the second stage, for the realisation of which we signed a contract on 20 April this year. The duration of the project is 24 months. It consists of three major elements – the shoreline enclosure of the Elbląg river, the bridge in the new crossing in Nowakowo and the reconstruction of the district road to this bridge. The bridge in Nowakowo is being constructed in order to eliminate a navigation obstacle which is above this bridge in the northern direction – the pontoon bridge. This undertaking will allow to remove the biggest navigational obstacle and widen the track on the Elbląg river to the parameters described in the construction project,” said Andrzej Małkiewicz, the head of the Investment realisation department in the Maritime Office in Gdynia.


The new bridge will be 104.3 m long with a span of 2 x 51.5 m.


“Work on the second part of our investment has moved from the preparatory stage to the stage of actual implementation. Heavy equipment has arrived on site, including a piling rig for making the concrete columns for the road leading to the new bridge. The works under this contract cover the previously unregulated, undredged Elbląg River and the replacement of a pontoon bridge with a swing bridge, which, unlike the existing one, will not generate problems for navigation. This bridge will give the residents of Nowakowska Island a convenient connection with the rest of the country,” said Wiesław Piotrzkowski, Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia.


The scope of works, resulting from the contract, includes the reconstruction of the existing fairway on the Elbląg river for a length of 10.4 km in the scope of bank shoring, which will eventually take over the functions of flood prevention embankments, the construction of low harbours, facilitating access to the river and the construction of a rotary bridge over the Elbląg river in the town of Nowakowo, together with changes to the road layout on a 2 km section. The river dredging will be carried out as part of the next stage of the investment, for which a tender is planned to be announced later this year.


Proper implementation of the environmental decision is crucial for the entire project


“For the entire investment project of the construction of a waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Bay of Gdańsk a decision on environmental conditions was issued, as well as a decision of the General Director of Environmental Protection, amending in part the provisions of the environmental decision. At the same time as construction work commenced on the second part of the task, environmental supervision began on behalf of the contracting authority, also on this part. For the needs of this contract, the contractor also secured its own environmental supervision. Herpetological supervision is also performed on the investment site, and the necessary derogation decisions are obtained on an ongoing basis,” said Dorota Słabek, Head of the Environmental Impact Assessment Department at the Maritime Office in Gdynia.


The value of the contract is over 570 million PLN, and the time foreseen for its completion is 24 months (the contract was signed on 20.04.2021).