With Poland integrated into the European Union, the country’s infrastructure began the long process of upgrade. One of the major projects is the A1 motorway (E75), which is a design, build, finance and operate (DBFO) project. The road forms part of the European integrated road network, the most northerly section of the EU TENS transport corridor
The motorway will provides an improved link between the north and south of Poland from the Baltic ports of Gdansk and Gdynia across the country to Vienna, Austria, and then through Slovenia to meet the Mediterranean and the Adriatic.
This means there is a single transport priority route running from northern European to the south. The Polish section of the A1 runs for 568km from Gdansk through Torun, LÃ³dz, Czestochowa and Katowice to Gorzyczki on the border.
The construction of the Polish section of the A1 was completed in two phases. The first section of 90km runs from Gdansk to Nowe Marzy in the north and was opened to traffic on 17 October 2008. The second involved a 62km section that was extended the southern end of the A1 to Torun was opened to traffic on 14 October 2011. The project cost around â‚¬1.4bn ($1.88bn). The motorway remained toll free until 5 January 2008. The toll collection on new road will begin on 13 January 2012.
The Gdansk Transport Company (GTC) was set up in 1996 for the purpose of completing the A1 motorway. The GTC is composed of several partners including John Laing (a 29.69% share holder), Swedish Skanska ID (a subsidiary of Skanska AB Group) (30%), Polish NDI Autostrada (25.31%), and South African Intertoll Infrastructure Development BV (15%).The road is a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement between the GTC and the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways. The concession to operate the 152km two road sections over a period of 34 years was granted to the GTC in August 2004, which expires in 2039.
The design and construction contract of phase one of the motorway was granted to the joint venture of Skanska Poland and NDI SA, while the supply and installation of the tolling equipment was granted to Intertoll Polska (also responsible for operations and routine maintenance).
The Wirtgen Group provided soil stabilisation equipment for the A1 and Hamm provided compactors and rollers. The soil layer was stabilised to a depth of 50cm and was then overlaid with a 20cm frost blanket and a four-layer asphalt system with a total depth of 26cm. There were ten soil stabilisers used (WR 2000 and WR 2500) and 30 single drum compactors and tyred rollers.
The total cost of the project was â‚¬1.4bn. The finance was raised by the GTC from two sources in Europe. The two banks involved were the European Investment Bank and the Nordic Investment Bank.
John Laing, as part of the GTC partnership committedâ‚¬11.5m ($15.46m) to the first phase of the project. Finance was closed for phase one in September 2005. Finance for the second phase was closed in July 2009.
“The motorway remained toll free until 5 January 2008.”
The motorway is a dual carriageway with two lanes in each direction and an emergency lane as well as a median barrier. Bridges and overpasses were constructed as necessary to cross rail lines and rivers.
There was one toll plaza on phase one of the road and toll arrangements on the slip road junctions.
The construction of phase one required earth works amounting to the movement of 16 million tonnes of earth to prepare the road bed. In addition, materials required for construction include 175,000t of cement, 100,000m3 of concrete and 1.6 million tonnes of bitumen mixture. There were 86 engineered structures (including 30 bridges, 37 overpasses, and 19 underpasses); six two-level road interchanges (Rusocin, Stanislawie, Swarozyn, Pelplin, Kopytkowo, Nowe Marzy); four level crossings for railways; three pairs of service areas (Kleszczewko, Olsze and Gajewo); two maintenance facilities at Pelplin and Nowe Marzy; two high -speed weight in motion sites; and a traffic control room at the Pelplin maintenance depot.
Phase two construction involved 60 bridges and overpasses. It included construction of a 2km long bridge on the Vistula River. The total cost of phase two was â‚¬730m ($981.85m) which included â‚¬581m ($781.44m) spent on construction of roads and â‚¬149m ($200.40m) spent on bridges construction.