D1 motorway (Czech Republic)
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|Length:||352 km (219 mi)
Planned: 376.5 km (233.9 mi)
|From:||MO in Prague|
|R56 in Ostrava|
|To:||A1 border with Poland|
|Regions:||Praha, Central Bohemian, Vysočina, South Moravian, Zlín, Olomouc, Moravian-Silesian|
|Major cities:||Praha, Jihlava, Brno, Přerov, Ostrava|
D1 motorway (Czech: Dálnice D1) is the main highway of the Czech Republic. Currently it connects the two biggest Czech cities, Prague and Brno, in the future it will link Ostrava and to the Czech-Polish border in Věřňovice (Karviná District) / Gorzyczki (Wodzisław County). As of December 2011 it is 346.5 km (215.3 mi) long, but the planned length is 376.5 km (233.9 mi).
With increasing automobile traffic in the 1930s in Czechoslovakia discussions were brought forward regarding the construction of new roads designed to carry the large volume of traffic. The discussions dealt with a backbone road from Bohemia, through Moravia and Slovakia to Carpathian Ruthenia with many variants. The plan of a Cheb – Plzeň – Německý Brod – Brno – Žilina - Užgorod – Chust highway was the one chosen, which was sponsored by the Bata Shoes company owner Jan Antonín Baťa in 1937. A year later the detailed project was ready to be realized.
The Munich Agreement in 1938 deprived the country of some fundamental road and rail routes. The government hurried works for the preparation of three major infrastructure projects to the new borders, the Německý Brod - Brno railway, the Plzeň - Ostrava road and a 4-lane highway from Prague to Velký Bočkov (on the Czechoslovak - Romanian border). The project for the first segment Prague - Lužná was ready in January 1939, and construction began on 24 January in Chřiby on the Zástřizly - Lužná segment.
The German occupation of Czechoslovakia brought only small technical changes to the project and the construction of another segment Prague - Humpolec began in May 1939. The increasing demands of World War II slowed down the construction and the works were completely halted in 1942. After the war the works were resumed mainly on major bridges in 1946, but only with a small workforce. The segment in Chřiby was abandoned in 1949 and the segment Prague - Humpolec one year later. All 77 km remain in disuse.
In 2008, civil engineers have said that there is an average of 50,000 motorists that passes through D1 motorways daily, 20% of the said motorists are new passers-by.
In the 1960s, traffic was growing very quickly, and a new plan for a D1 highway Prague - Soviet Union border was formulated. Work on the Prague - Brno section started in 1967, mainly using the old highway route. The 21 km long Prague - Mirošovice segment was completed in 1971, and the 205 km long route to Brno in 1980.
In the Slovakian part construction started in 1973 with the 14 km long Ivachnová - Liptovský Mikuláš section, together with the construction of the Liptovská Mara dam. The 19 km Prešov - Košice highway was added in 1980. In the late 1980s and the early 1990s the 19 km long Brno - Vyškov segment was built and another 20 km from Liptovský Mikuláš to Hybe in Slovakia.
After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia route changes, construction was no longer planned to Slovakia, but instead to Lipník nad Bečvou (the replacement of the planned route is the R49 expressway). Due to growing traffic near Prague, the first segment to Mirošovice was widened from 4 lanes to 6 lanes and there are similar plans for widening around Brno as well. After the dissolution, no new sections were built. In 2002, construction of an 18 km long extension from Vyškov eastwards started and it was opened in 2005. More extensions eastwards were opened in 2008, 2009 and 2010; in 2011 motorway reach the junction with R55 expressway and R49 expressway near Hulín, the route curled up to the north to the Přerov (and Lipník nad Bečvou).
Simultaneously the segment from Lipník nad Bečvou to Ostrava was constructed during 2004 - 2009 due to historical reasons as Motorway D47, however it was opened as part of D1 highway. The segment from Ostrava to the Polish border (and Autostrada A1) has been opened in late 2012, but only for cars under 3.5 tonnes, because Polish side had problems with the bridge at Mszana village. From 2014 the bridge is open, and everyone can ride from Ostrava to Polish Border, and further, to Katowice.
The only section which is not yet completed is the Prerov bypass to Lipnik nad Becvou. It is expected to be fully completed by July 2018.
- Ředitelství silnic a dálnic ČR - Česko a Polsko spojila nová dálnice
- České dálnice > Dálniční síť v České republice > Dálnice > Dálnice D1
- Exit list of D1 highway
- Info on ceskedalnice.cz (Czech)
- Info on dalnice-silnice.cz (Czech)
- Info about pre-war bridges on dalnice.com