A1 autostrada (Poland)
|Part of E75|
|Length:||395.5 km (245.7 mi)
565.1 km (351 mi) planned
|From:||S6 near Gdańsk|
S5 near Grudziądz (planned)
|To:||D1 border with Czech Republic|
|Major cities:||Gdańsk, Grudziądz, Toruń, Łódź, Piotrków Trybunalski, Częstochowa, Gliwice|
|National roads in Poland|
The autostrada A1, officially named Amber Highway (pol. Autostrada Bursztynowa) in Poland is a north-south motorway under construction that will run through central Poland, from Gdańsk on the Baltic Sea through Łódź and the Upper Silesian Industry Area (to the west of Katowice) to the Polish-Czech border in Gorzyczki (Wodzisław County) /Věřňovice (Karviná District), where it is connected with the Czech motorway D1. The motorway is a part of the European route E75. The total planned length is 565.1 km (351.1 mi).
History of construction
As of October 2015, about 395.5 km (245.8 mi) of the motorway has been completed. The oldest section, a 17.5 km (11 mi) stretch as the Piotrków Trybunalski bypass, was built between 1978 and 1989. Further construction resumed in 2005 with the building of the northern section (south of Gdańsk). A 25 km (16 mi) section was opened on 22 December 2007, near Gdańsk, extending the S6 bypass expressway, and a remaining 65 km (40 mi) opened on 17 October 2008. The 62 km extension of the motorway to Toruń opened on 14 October 2011.
At the southern end of the motorway, construction of a 15.5 km (9.6 mi) section from Gliwice-Sośnica to Bełk, part of the southernmost section from the junction with the A4 motorway at Sośnica district of Gliwice to the Czech border, began on 26 March 2007 and was completed in December 2009. The remainder of the 48 km (30 mi) long section from A4 to the border was opened in different stages from 2009 till 2014. Construction of the 43 km (27 mi) section from Gliwice-Sośnica north to Pyrzowice began in 2009 and was fully completed by June 2012.
On 15 December 2009 the Polish government announced the cancelling of the contract for building the Świerklany - Gorzyczki (Czech border) section, citing the unacceptably slow pace of construction by Alpine Bau GmbH. The government solicited new bids for this section in April 2010 and the bid was won by the same company that lost the original contract, and construction resumed in October 2010. The original plan was for the road to be ready in the Summer of 2010, and according to the new contract it was be ready in April 2012, in time for Euro 2012 championships. Alpine Bau GmbH abandoned their second effort to finish this section in May 2013. It was finally opened in May 2014.
On 22 January 2009 a contract was signed for the construction of the 180 km (110 mi) section from Stryków (junction with motorway A2) to Pyrzowice. Under the terms of the contract, the segment from Stryków to Częstochowa (123 km (76 mi)) was to be finished by May 2012, while the remaining segment from Częstochowa to Pyrzowice (57 km (35 mi)) was to be finished by January 2014 (60 months after the signing of the contract). The motorway was to be built within a Private-Public Partnership framework by company Autostrada Południe. The contract included the rebuilding of an already existing stretch of A1 motorway (opened in 1989) as well as the upgrade of the existing dual-carriageway road between Piotrków Trybunalski and Częstochowa. On 23 January 2010 the contract was cancelled as the company was not able to secure financing. It carried out the design project of the motorway however, which according to the Polish government was to make it possible for construction to begin in 2010 by new contractors, and be finished by 2012. However, the design project turned out to be full of flaws and will have to be redone from scratch. The current estimate for the section is rather uncertain, as 82 km of the A1 have got only the environmental decision(Oct 2015), but it is very unlikely that the whole motorway section, the only incomplete one, is going to open before or in 2020.
The construction of the A1 motorway has been a highly politicized issue in Poland, as it is perceived to be an economically vital road that would connect the country's major ports on the Baltic coast with both central and southern Poland. Since 1989 various governments and political parties have supported an accelerated construction schedule for this motorway, without results. After many delays, caused mainly by lack of funding, construction resumed in 2005. When Jarosław Kaczyński was prime minister, statements from government officials indicated a firm commitment for accelerating the construction schedule, with completion of the whole motorway achieved in 2010. That plan was too optimistic, but according to then current plans much of the motorway would be opened by 2012(as it was, 68% was complete by Dec 2012). But the whole motorway planned time of construction is very uncertain, as only 10.7% of motorway is under construction as of October 2015.
Sections of the motorway
|Gdańsk - Grudziądz||90 km||2005–2008||opened December 2008; toll motorway|
|Grudziądz - Toruń||62 km||2008–2011||opened Oct. 14, 2011; toll motorway|
|Toruń - Pikutkowo ( Włocławek West )||45 km||2010–2013||construction interrupted in September, 2012 as companies involved have been ejected from the contract,. (the ejected companies have sued the Polish authorities). New contractors have been selected in April, 2013 and the road opened to traffic on December 20, 2013.|
|Pikutkowo ( Włocławek West ) - Kowal||19 km||2010–2014||construction interrupted in September, 2012 as companies involved have been ejected from the contract,. (the ejected companies have sued the Polish authorities). New contractors were selected in April, 2013 and the road fully opened to traffic at the end of April 2014.|
|Kowal - Stryków/Łódź||75 km||2010–2012||opened November 13, 2012|
|Stryków/Łódź - Tuszyn||37.3 km||2012–2016||Design-build contract signed in December 2010, completion originally planned in 32 months, then delayed to June, 2014 then later plans had it completed in Summer of 2015  However, the contractor abandoned the contract in January, 2014, so this stretch will be delayed further, as new contractor will have to be selected. In September 2014 it was announced this section had been divided into 3 sections and contractors for 2 of these sections had been appointed. Planned date of opening: April 2016|
|Tuszyn - Piotrków Trybunalski||17 km||1978–1989||built, to be upgraded|
|Piotrków Trybunalski - Częstochowa||82 km||?||planned upgrade of existing dual-carriageway road, which was built in the 1970s with some motorway features.|
|Częstochowa - Woźniki||41,7 km||2015-2018||tendered, some parts of Częstochowa bypass have already been signed for completion |
|Woźniki - Pyrzowice||15,2 km||2015-2018||under construction, contract signed with STRABAG on August 26, 2015  Map, planned date of opening: December 2018|
|Pyrzowice - "Zabrze Północ” (Wieszowa)||31 km||2009–2012||opened 1 June 2012|
|"Zabrze Północ” (Wieszowa) - Maciejów||8,1 km||2009–2011||opened December 2011|
|Maciejów - Sośnica/Gliwice||6 km||2009–2011||opened September 2011|
|Sośnica/Gliwice - Bełk||15,5 km||2007–2009||opened December 2009|
|Bełk - Świerklany||14,1 km||2008-2011||Bełk - Rowień opened in December 2010, Rowień - Świerklany opened in April 2011 (delayed because of floods)|
|Świerklany - Mszana||7,3 km||2007–2014||construction interrupted in late 2009 due to contract dispute, then resumed in October 2010. Was to open in July 2012, but a problem with one of the bridges then moved the planned opening until August, 2013. In May, 2013 the contractor abandoned the project, citing disagreement with Polish government agencies. A new contractor to finish the bridge was selected in June 2013, and the road fully opened to traffic on May 23, 2014.|
|Mszana - Gorzyczki (Czech border)||11,1 km||2007–2012||construction interrupted in late 2009 due to contract dispute, then resumed in October 2010. Opened (to light vehicles only) in November 2012, and to all vehicles on May 23, 2014 after completion of adjacent section.|
- biznes.onet.pl article, 15 December 2009
- Announcement on official www.gddkia.gov.pl
- constructionpoland.com article on abandonment, 20 May 2013
- News on GDDKiA official web portal
- biznes.onet.pl article Jan. 23, 2009
- Ostre hamowanie A1 w Pyrzowicach
- Minister: autostrada A1 do Łodzi dopiero za rok
- Walsh, John (September 14, 2012). "Sisk to sue Poland over road project". Irish Examiner.
- Salini dokończy budowę A1. Umowy podpisane
- Gazeta Wyborcza
- Umowa na budowę odcinka autostrady A1 w kierunku Katowic
- Autostrada A1. Bez szans na oddanie w terminie
- Budowa autostrady A1. Kiedy dokończą obwodnicę Łodzi?
- Government decision issued in February 2014 updating the highway building program
- Contract signed with STRABAG
- "Przybyło nam kolejne 28 km autostrad". Bankier.pl. 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- GDDKiA official announcement
- Autostrada A1 otwarta z Maciejowa do Sośnicy!
- Autostrada A1. Nie zdążą przed Euro 2012
- Naprawa mostu na autostradzie A1 wystraszyła inwestorów. Gmina załamana
- Alpine Bau nie dokończy mostu w Mszanie na autostradzie A1
- A1 do samej granicy? Wiemy kiedy będzie gotowa
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Freeway A1 (Poland).|
- Official website of Gdańsk-Toruń section operator (English)
- Official page for construction project A1 Kowal-Stryków (Polish)
- Official page for construction project A1 Stryków-Tuszyn (Polish)
- Official page for construction project A1 Pyrzowice-Gliwice Sośnica (Polish)