Will the Masurian highway construction be halted by environmentalists?

Journalists from Gazeta Olsztyńska spoke about this investment with Andrzej Adamczyk, the infrastructure minister.

Journalists asked the minister whether the actions of environmentalists can stop the construction of this road on the stretch from Ełk to Mrągowo?

It’s no secret that people who are hesitant to make this investment can put it off in a number of ways. However, they forget that such actions are against the interests of the region and its inhabitants. The national road No. 16, next to the S7 highway, is the main transport route through Warmia and Mazury. The most critical part of this road, incl. due to the protests of some local authorities, there is a section Mrągowo – Orzysz – Adamczyk answered. – On this section, the DK16 has insufficient technical parameters, the road is only 5.5 – 6 m wide, with unpaved berms with trees limiting the road edge and visibility. In addition, it runs through many cities where through traffic is mixed with local traffic, there are no sidewalks and the traffic of vehicles, including trucks, poses a major threat to pedestrians.

The minister added that according to traffic analysis, the predicted traffic volume on this road will be 9-12 thousand. vehicles per day in 2025, and in 2055 – 18-24 thousand vehicles, of which about 25-30 percent. it will be heavy traffic.

– It means we can’t wait any longer. If the S16 motorway is not built, through east-west traffic would continue along State Road 16 or along its alternative route, namely State Road 58, which passes through the center of one of the largest and most valuable Natura 2000 sites, Puszcza Piska – replied Adamczyk.

As the Minister points out, more than 40 variants of the possible route of the S16 highway have been analyzed so far, including:

a dozen variants indicated by the company. The solutions proposed in the petitions have also been analysed, including the variant of the construction of a highway in the south of the region between Nidzica and Szczuczyn, about 150 km long. The analyzes performed and the knowledge collected made it possible to limit the number of variants to the three currently analysed.

Very often in the discussion about the construction of the S16 the argument is made that the route will destroy the most valuable natural areas. And this is not true, none of the analyzed variants conflict with the area of ​​​​the Masurian Landscape Park. There is only a collision with his backlog, and this is due to geographical conditions, there is no possibility to route the route in this place.

Journalists also asked whether the construction of the highway would not violate the slogan “Mazury Miracle of Nature”?

– I agree with the statement that Masuria is a natural wonder and should be protected. I like to visit them myself, I like to rest here and enjoy the benefits of the beautiful local lakes. To me it is obvious that valuable natural areas should be preserved for posterity and investments that affect nature too much are unacceptable. Therefore, designers are preparing a modern and safe route with conservation resources, such as viaducts, protective screens, passages for small and large animals connected with fences leading to them, so that animals do not get lost under the wheels of cars. The opponents of the construction of the route present its supporters as cavemen waiting to destroy nature. Such accusations are absurd, but they can stir emotions in people who often act in good faith to defend nature. There is an attitude “they want to destroy Masuria, I am against”. It does not take into account the voices of scientists and experts that channeling traffic on one high-capacity route means fewer collisions with animals, less exhaust fumes into the atmosphere, less inconvenience for the inhabitants of the cities where DK16, DK58 or provincial roads are used. walk through No. 610 is currently running. , 655, 656. It’s not that if the route isn’t created, traffic will evaporate or go elsewhere. The number of problems faced by the inhabitants of Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship due to lack of access to modern transport infrastructure will increase. This voivodeship is already the most excluded region in Europe in terms of communications, without S16 this exclusion will only deepen – said Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk.

The minister added that the S16 is probably the only road in Poland for which, as part of the preparatory work, so many meetings and consultations have taken place with residents, representatives of local authorities and environmental organisations.

– During them we explain calmly and patiently that there is no alternative to this route. All votes and demands are carefully analyzed and taken into account when planning the route. An application for an environmental decision was submitted in December 2020, which will determine the final route of the road and the way to connect it to the adjacent areas, as well as provide the basis for further design work – said Adamczyk. – From my recent conversations with the inhabitants of the region, it appears that they are waiting for the S16 road to be built. They told me clearly: we want our cities to be well connected, because we need development. The inhabitants of Masuria fully understand that their region must be attractive not only in terms of tourism, but also in terms of investment: all year round, not just seasonal. As politicians, we have a duty to create the conditions for the development of the country in each of its regions. Therefore, the S16 road through Masuria has to be built.

Based on Gazeta Olsztyńska

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