Plans for a new 33km Metropolitan Ring Road going via Żukowo and Miszewo have been rubber stamped by the Regional Directorate of Environmental Protection (RDOŚ) and, with this major hurdle now overcome, construction is expected to begin in 2018. Completion of the project, which will both ease pressure on the Tri-city Ring Road and facilitate easier travel to Kashubia, is scheduled for 2020.
The route, a section of the S7 expressway (connecting Gdańsk and Kraków), will take traffic southwards from Chwaszczyno, passing down the eastern side of Miszewo & Żukowo before bearing eastwards to Lublewo in Kolbudy County, where it will join the southern section of the Tri-city Ring Road. Along the way, just before the village of Przyjaźń, there will also be an intersection allowing drivers to join the Żukowo bypass, which is being built as part of the same investment & will skirt the town on the south side.
Crucial to the RDOŚ decision, was adequate provision for the many species of protected plants and animals whose habitats the road will run through. Although it will pass mainly through agricultural land on the outskirts of Gdańsk and Gdynia, it will also flank protected areas such as the Otomin Radunia Valley and the ‘monumental avenue’ of 580 small-leaved lime trees on the Leźno-Pępowo road, and an environmental inventory of the route included 61 species of birds, 8 species of amphibians, 4 species of reptiles & numerous species of fish and bats.
To minimise environmental impact and disruption to wildlife, the road will therefore feature 7km of noise reduction screens and 50 wildlife crossings: 28 for small animals, 14 for medium and 8 for large animals (including six trestles over the road). The investor - the Gdańsk branch of the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways - will be required to monitor the usefulness of these measures as well as taking responsibility for the relocation of endangered plant species to replacement habitats.
However, although the fundamental environmental protection parameters of the project have now been established, there are still outstanding objections to the proposed route which could force a rethink. This is the case particularly around Miszewo, where the two companies operating there - Ashland and Hydromega, both supported by Żukowo Town Council, insisted that the road miss their land. Their requests were not granted by planners and therefore not included in the application assessed by the RDOŚ. It is possible that either or both of the companies in question could yet lodge an appeal.
As it stands, though, the environmental decision for the Metropolitan Ring Road brings to an end a series of similar proposals for major road projects in Pomerania. In late November, a decision was reached regarding the so-called ‘Kashubian Route’ section of the S6 expressway (to run between Lębork and Slupsk), while early December saw the RDOŚ approve amendments to the construction of the S7 expressway between Gdańsk and Elbląg.
This piece was written based upon an article written by Maciej Naskret on Trojmiasto.pl