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      Szczecin’s road and traffic system – a major overhaul

      Marta Kufel

      Marta Kufel

      Szczecin’s road and traffic system – a major overhaul

      The last five years have been a busy period for Szczecin. The city saw numerous projects building new railway tracks, walking and cycling infrastructure, and car parks. One could say it turned into a big construction site.

      Major throughfares, interchanges and a new bridge

      Arkońska Street is an important throughfare. The new roadway opened for traffic in the first months of 2020. Pedestrians and cyclists got new infrastructure to move safely. A new tramway track and a terminus near the Arkoński Forest were built, as well as a park & ride facility. What was special about this project is that it required the construction of a roundabout at the corner of Wojska Polskiego Alley and Szafera Street to direct tramway traffic into four directions.

      Closer to the centre, the city built the Łękno Terminus. This projects feeds into the Szczecin Metropolitan Railways concept encompassing a park & ride facility, walking and cycling infrastructure, shared bus and tram stops and railway platforms under the new viaduct. It also involved the next phase of constructing the throughfare from the junction of Arkońska and Niemierzyńska Streets to the opening of the new interchange’s slip roads. Furthermore, railway lines have been reconstructed along a section of 1.2 km.

      The Głebokie Terminus has been built as part of the Integrated Territorial Investment Strategy for the Szczecin Metropolitan Area. There is a new roundabout and the two streets originating from it – a section of Wojska Polskiego Alley, Zegadłowicza, Miodowa and Kupczyka Streets – have been reconstructed  along the entire length up to the city’s boundaries. A bus and tram terminus and a park & ride facility have been constructed, as well as 3,784 sq. m of pedestrian pavements and 2.5 km of cycling paths.

      A new entryway to the city has been built in Podjuchy. Sections of Krygiera, Granitowa and Radosna Streets have been upgraded. In addition, the junction at the corner of these streets has been completely reconstructed. New pedestrian pavements, cycling paths and bus stops have been constructed. The highlight of this project was the construction of the river crossing over the Regalica. Near the old bridge, a new triple-span structure has been erected with a carrying capacity of over 227 m.

      New access route to the Szczecin Port

      “Szczecin is a port city and access to harbour infrastructure is important from both water and land. Aware of this, the City has carried out one of the key traffic projects in recent years – “Upgrading the road access to the Szczecin Port: altering the traffic system in the Międzyodrze area” – which comprised four sub-projects,” said Piotr Zieliński, City of Szczecin’s Spokesman for Investment Projects.

      Górnośląska Street has been upgraded, with a new roadway, walkways and parking lanes for lorries. Power, sewage, water supply and telecommunications systems have been diverted. The stormwater drainage system along with filtering devices has been adjusted as well.

      Another project involved the reconstruction of Gdańska Street at the Estakada Pomorska viaduct. The works included both roadways of the viaduct and entailed the overhaul of the road and tram structure. The road system under the viaduct has been redeveloped, with the carrying capacity of the pavement being improved, new walkways and cycle paths being built and the buried networks being upgraded. The project also entailed alterations to the viaduct at Gdańska Street spanning over the siding leading to the Dolna Odra Power Plant.

      The entryway to the city along Energetyków Street has been completely made over. The most significant part of this undertaking involved building a new roundabout in Energetyków Street with a turnout to allow the future extension of the tram line to Łasztownia. Reconstruction work has also been done on Spichrzowa, Zbożowa, Celna, Świętego Floriana, Bulwar Śląski and  Gdański Streets, and a section of Bytomska Street. New walkways,  cycling paths and bus stops have been constructed. A shared bus and tram stop has been constructed on Energetyków Street. In addition, parking spaces have been constructed, including two car parks – one in the vicinity of the Zamkowa Route and another near Zbożowa and Władysława IV Streets.

      The latter project entailed the upgrade of the road system in the heart of the port infrastructure. Bytomska, Rybnicka, Logistyczna, Kujota and Hryniewieckiego Streets have been reconstructed. Pavements have been improved, public and private entryways have been reconstructed, new walkways and cycling paths have been built. Comprehensive utility network adjustments have been made, including to the stormwater drainage system. Notably, a new roundabout has been built to allow the carriage of extra large loads through its traffic circle. 

      Changes in Szczecin’s centre and beyond

      The downtown section of Wojska Polskiego Alley is the City of Szczecin's  hallmark renewal project. The new alley between Zwycięstwa Square and Szarych Szeregów Square has a range of advantages – lighter traffic, centrally located parking spaces, dedicated parking spaces for delivery vehicles and, importantly, more space for residents. The project also involved plantings – 154 new trees, including the beautiful and majestic plane trees, reaching approx. 10 m in height, as well as magnolias, birches and different types of brushes (the goal is to plant 20,000 shrubs).

      The Wojska Polskiego Square renewal has been carried out in conjunction with the reconstruction of the interchange in Zwycięstwa Square. Roadways have been upgraded, new pedestrian pavements and cycling paths have been built and, importantly, a bus and tram lane has been added along with a new shared stop to facilitate transfers between the two modes of public transport. These work packages are expected to be completed this spring.

      However, downtown is not the only area to have been overhauled. Many road projects have been carried out across different locations in Szczecin,” Zieliński added.

      Phase I of street reconstruction in Dąbie included Belgradzka, Bośniacka, Babiego Lata and Czarnogórska Streets. This work package also entailed the upgrade of the land drainage channel spanning from Róży Wiatrów Street to Chełszcząca Street. Kniewska Street reconstruction works resulted in new pedestrian pavements, parking spaces, a bus terminus and new light posts. What is more, utility diversions have been completed, including on Kniewska and Lubczyńska Streets.

      Up north, reconstruction projects included Huculska, Axentowicza, Zbyszka z Bogdańca, Hoża and Łomżyńska Streets. A section of Czesława Miłosza Street has been built. Moreover, the junction near Północna and Wapienna Streets has been remodelled, and a new stormwater basin has been built nearby. Also, a collaborative intercommunal project has been carried out to upgrade Przesączyńska Street, which connects Szczecin with Police.

      In Szczecin’s western part, Twardowskiego and Witkiewicza Streets have been opened after upgrades, and reconstruction work has been done on Modra, Koralowa and Polskich Marynarzy Streets. The reconstruction of Bułgarska Street included the construction of a car park at Arkońska Street with a capacity of 400 spaces.

      Hybridisation, electrification and the Szczecin Metropolitan Railways

      In addition to the numerous infrastructural projects, the City of Szczecin has consistently implemented measures to upgrade its bus fleet. In late 2018, the first of the total of sixteen hybrid buses (eight regular and eight articulated) have been delivered to Szczecin. In 2021, Szczecin got eight Solaris Urbino 18 Electric electric articulated buses. Initially, these were tested on different lines to optimise future purchases of these vehicles. A further six Solaris Urbino 12 Electric buses were purchased in 2022, and another two were delivered this year.

      Comment by Piotr Zieliński:  “In addition to bus purchases, we invested in bus infrastructure. Six two-stand bus charging stations with a capacity of 120 kW have been installed in the Klonowica depot. Furthermore, three pantograph charging stations have been set up in Kołłątaja, Kolumba and Owocowa Streets.”

      Finally, it is important to mention the Szczecin Metropolitan Railways. The scope of this project extends beyond the City of Szczecin into the broader metropolitan area. The part of the project managed by Szczecin’s local government involves twenty projects spread across different locations of the city. Their objective is to make infrastructural upgrades of the nearby stations and railway stops. The work package includes the construction of pedestrian pavements, cycling infrastructure, entryway streets, park & ride facilities, stops and bus termini. These facilities are now waiting for trains to commence service.

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