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Old December 19th, 2012, 04:03 PM   #9341
E2rdEm
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I never understood why Białystok is so eager to stop S61 from building. Are you guys afraid of loosing thousands of polluting trucks roaming your city's outskirts?

The current plan is that S8 Warszawa-Białystok will surely be built in the first phase, as soon as there is money. Only then there is a chance to start thinking about S61. For the time being, I predict only Suwałki bypass and Łomża bypass (well, maybe with a connection to Ostrów Mazowiecka) have any chance to be built untill 2020.

The road Białystok-Augustów (Suwałki) is in decent condition, and AADT of 6700-8100 doesn't really justify any upgrade. Even the DW677 (Łomża-Ostrów) has higher AADT of 7600-8800... That's where the trucks go.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #9342
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Good transport links with the rest of the world are critical for businesses to be competitive and successful, and those in turn bring tax revenue and jobs.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 05:57 PM   #9343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E2rdEm View Post
I predict only Suwałki bypass and Łomża bypass (well, maybe with a connection to Ostrów Mazowiecka) have any chance to be built untill 2020.
Łomża bypass is needed now regardless of if it is expressway or not, Suwalki bypass too... the rest in my opinion is a song of distant future....

On the other hand I am wondering how is now possible to build S8 between Bialystok and Suwalki with that Natura 2000 areas around Augustow? Are there any works in progress on redirecting that route?
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Old December 19th, 2012, 07:11 PM   #9344
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Originally Posted by E2rdEm View Post
I never understood why Białystok is so eager to stop S61 from building. Are you guys afraid of loosing thousands of polluting trucks roaming your city's outskirts?

The current plan is that S8 Warszawa-Białystok will surely be built in the first phase, as soon as there is money. Only then there is a chance to start thinking about S61. For the time being, I predict only Suwałki bypass and Łomża bypass (well, maybe with a connection to Ostrów Mazowiecka) have any chance to be built untill 2020.

The road Białystok-Augustów (Suwałki) is in decent condition, and AADT of 6700-8100 doesn't really justify any upgrade. Even the DW677 (Łomża-Ostrów) has higher AADT of 7600-8800... That's where the trucks go.
I suppose you are referring to me there? I am not from Bialystok, I am from Lithuania, so completely neutral, and I already stated the reasons why I would prefer the E67 to go via Bialystok and S61 cancelled (at least for now). There's no budget for two roads in those regions at the moment, so it is best if they concentrated one the more important one, namely Bialystok - Suwalki. And AADT will increase in the next few years significantly due to drivers switching away from the Lomza route (it is already happening).
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Old December 19th, 2012, 07:15 PM   #9345
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There's no budget for two roads in those regions at the moment, so it is best if they concentrated one the more important one, namely Bialystok - Suwalki.
We disagree about which road is more important. I've driven between Bialystok and Augustow many times and it's a lonely road.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 07:52 PM   #9346
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WARSAW (Reuters) - The European Commission is investigating why Poland's government is refusing to pay dozens of foreign contractors for work carried out under a road-building program worth billions of euros and backed by Europe.
...
Quote:
The overall picture, contractors say, is of an agency where staff were struggling to keep up with the huge scale of the project and were tied up in red tape.

"The attitude (inside GDDKiA) appears to be: 'I don't want to make a decision, let contractors go to court over it'," said Finn Lyden, chief executive of Irish builder SIAC, one of the firms taking the agency to court.

The highways agency says that where disputes have arisen, it is because contractors' work did not meet its exacting quality standards. It said it was forced itself to terminate several contracts because of failures by contractors.

It also says firms were caught out because they did not properly plan for the possibility that the prices of raw materials would rise.

Nevertheless, GDDKiA chief Witecki acknowledged there was room for improvement in the way the agency managed contracts.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/s...,6544436.story
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Old December 19th, 2012, 09:54 PM   #9347
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Wow, Polish road building made it all the way to Chicago Tribune.
I'm impressed.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 10:00 PM   #9348
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Old December 19th, 2012, 10:01 PM   #9349
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I don't really trust the media about stories of highway construction, especially foreign media where stories are usually one-sided.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 10:18 PM   #9350
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the primary point of the story is that the EU commission have decided to start an investigation. I think it would be nice if that lead to some more clarity on the issue.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 10:24 PM   #9351
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I don't really trust the media about stories of highway construction, especially foreign media where stories are usually one-sided.
Here's a longer statement from mr Lyden:


It seems to me that they failed to fully understand the contract before they signed it, same as COVEC did. It's true that there is a great imbalance in GDDKiA's contracts, contractors take pretty much all risks upon themselves, they are responsible for dealing with any unexpected difficulties etc. SRB/SIAC seemed to think they are signing a "vanilla" FICIC, but in fact GDDKiA use a highly modified version of FIDIC. The changes are obvious when you read the contract, so the fact that they acted surprised two years after signing it is ridiculous. All contractors in Poland know the rules and they adjust their prices accordingly. I'd say claiming that all FIDIC contracts in Europe are shovel ready and only in Poland you get problems is very naive. Obviously there is room for improvement on GDDKiA's part, but after all SRB/SIAC did sign those contracts and they did agree on those terms, so there is very little to be done now. You also have to understand GDDKiA can't help them even if they wanted to, because if they spend a single ZŁ more than they are obliged to under terms of the contract, they will be held responsible for it.

Also there is some obvious misinformation on mister Lyden's part, when he states costs could be cut by half if they were allowed to use prefabricates. Obviously that's not true.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 11:32 PM   #9352
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He did not persuade me. These kinds of excuses are always the same. Playing the political note to push things is typical. He just met tougher partner than he expected, if it were business business relation, he would have not much to do.

That technology transfer bullshit gives him away. Besides, it seems to me that the Polish motorways standards are higher than the Irish ones... well, happy cutting in half.

I would be on the side of contractors only if someone showed me that the contract would state that e.g. GDDKiA promised to provide with all the permits but during the construction failed to deliver them to the constructor, which could not build. If however in the contract is stated that the risk is on the side of the contractor and that not delivered permit doesn't mean he is not obliged to deliver, then it is very bad legal reading and bargaining on the contractor side when closing the contract. (but it is also nonsensical situation, nevertheless legally bulletproof).

I hope for the GDDKia to have the law on its side it this one.

Last edited by Surel; December 20th, 2012 at 01:05 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old December 20th, 2012, 12:48 AM   #9353
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That technology transfer bullshit gives him away. Besides, it seems to me that the Polish motorways standards are higher than the Irish ones... well, happy cutting in half.
Motorway section built by SIAC (A4 Krzyż - Dębica Pustynia) cost about ~50 mln PLN per km. That's actually pretty expensive, in 2010 (when this contract was signed) average price for 2x2 A/S roads in Poland was ~35 mln PLN per km. But I wonder where did he get this idea of 50% cheaper in Ireland, for example M9 Carlow - Knocktopher which was built by SIAC, cost around 11.6 mln EUR per km, which in 2010's exchange rates would give us something like 46 mln PLN per km. Granted, labor is much cheaper than in Ireland, but cost of motorway construction consists mostly of materials like fuel, concrete, aggregates, steel etc., which cost roughly the same around Europe. You also have to notice A4 is a higher standard road (perhaps too high considering forecast traffic?) than M9.. So yeah.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 02:04 AM   #9354
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We disagree about which road is more important. I've driven between Bialystok and Augustow many times and it's a lonely road.
Drive there in a few years and you'll see a different picture. Even now lots of traffic from the Lomza route has migrated to the Bialystok route, this trend will continue as the S8 is improved.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 06:45 AM   #9355
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Drive there in a few years and you'll see a different picture. Even now lots of traffic from the Lomza route has migrated to the Bialystok route, this trend will continue as the S8 is improved.
That's a circular argument. You're saying improve the circuitous route rather than the direct route because improvements to the circuitous route will make it more attractive.

It's like going back to 1995 and saying: "No! Don't improve the A1 between Vilnius and Kaunas because we already have this great A2 between Vilnius and Panevezys. Instead improve the A6 between Kaunas and Ukmerge and let all the Vilnius - Kaunas traffic drive via Ukmerge!"
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Old December 20th, 2012, 10:46 AM   #9356
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Quote:
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...I would be on the side of contractors only if someone showed me that the contract would state that e.g. GDDKiA promised to provide with all the permits but during the construction failed to deliver them to the constructor, which could not build. If however in the contract is stated that the risk is on the side of the contractor and that not delivered permit doesn't mean he is not obliged to deliver, then it is very bad legal reading and bargaining on the contractor side when closing the contract. (but it is also nonsensical situation, nevertheless legally bulletproof).
I share your opinion. nobody put a gun to his head asking politely to sign the contract. I guess either he did not find his favourite horse head in his bed one day. he signed it because this was his own will. if - for some reasons - he did not want to read/verify/check contract attachment ... well shame on him. his bad.
for me the situaation is clear, he had wanted to be smart, but GDKKiA turned out as a smarter partner in that deal.
the SIAC team (probably lead by that guy), which worked on bid/contract documents should be immediately fired, they brought the company to serious troubles doing business on terra nova without experience and proper preparation.

personally I am happy GDDKiA secured public money.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 05:43 PM   #9357
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Quite frankly it looks like many foreign construction companies thought they could easily made big money in Poland by using substandard materials. Chinese COVEC even thought they came to Africa. Well, I guess that says something about how the Chinese-built African roads will look in a few years.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 06:07 PM   #9358
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That is about right. Chinese are super fast yet super cheap....
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Old December 21st, 2012, 01:48 AM   #9359
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Originally Posted by mcarling View Post
That's a circular argument. You're saying improve the circuitous route rather than the direct route because improvements to the circuitous route will make it more attractive.

It's like going back to 1995 and saying: "No! Don't improve the A1 between Vilnius and Kaunas because we already have this great A2 between Vilnius and Panevezys. Instead improve the A6 between Kaunas and Ukmerge and let all the Vilnius - Kaunas traffic drive via Ukmerge!"
No, that's not what I am saying at all.

What I am saying is that essentially now, they are planning to build two connections between Suwalki and Ostrow Mazowiecka, one of which is 40 km. shorter than the other. This distance saving is not very significant to the international, long distance traffic as proven by the fact that people have been switching between those roads based on their condition.

Now, to summarise my point, I believe that having these two connections built relatively soon (in our lifetimes?) is essentially day dreaming. With split AADT, they have zero chances of getting built, and I believe that the problem is with the fact that they are trying to work on both of them at once.

Now:

1. The Bialystok - Suwalki section requires 60km. less of new expressway to connect Suwalki to Warsaw via expressway only;
2. That section is also a connection to Via Carpathia, so it is part of another international corridor, which is also important to Baltic traffic (so you can move all Baltic traffic to the Bialystok route, but you can't move traffic from the Bialystok route to the S61 as some of it is going south and some of it is going to/from Bialystok, while the S61 has no major cities in it's way);
3. The Baltic traffic is already switching to that section due to improvements in the S8 between Bialystok and Ostrow Mazowiecka, so the 40 km. really isn't that important.

The only way they can connect Suwalki to Warsaw via expressways relatively soon (in our lifetimes?) in this situation is this:
- Concentrate on the Bialystok - Suwalki section only and forget the S61 for now;
- The Baltic traffic will switch to the Bialystok - Suwalki section with every improvement, leaving the Lomza route empty (very few extra improvements will be needed as people are already doing so);
- The AADT of that road will be huge and hence people high up will see the priority and might possibly give some financing.

Once this is built, we can concentrate on the S61. Right now when the traffic is split, none of these roads will ever have a high enough AADT to justify massive spending on them and as much as I would want the 40km. shorter connection and an expressway between Bialystok and Suwalki, both of these will remain a day dream for another what... 50 years? Wait for literally ages just to get a 40 km. shorter connection? I say no, let's do the Bialystok - Suwalki first and let's do the Suwalki - Lomza - Ostrow then.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 02:58 PM   #9360
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I think bleetz is right.
There is no chance for both of these roads to be build. We have to choose one. In that respect priority for the Suwalki -Bialystok route is no-brainer.
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