$60bn has been spent on new roads in Poland since 2007. In that time the major road network has tripled in size to over 3,000km. There’s much more to do – from 2015 ‘the entire country will be a building site’ we hear – but, to mark the end of this first wave of construction, we see how far they have already come using some great pictures from the National Roads Directorate, www.GDDKiA.gov.pl, @GDDKiA.
Nothing perhaps better illustrates the destructive force of new roads ploughing through the countryside than this shot of the S17 at Lublin, 170km south east of Warsaw. On the other hand, before Romania joined in 2007, isolated Lublin was the poorest city in the EU.
The A4 Korczowa border crossing with Ukraine. There are only a few incomplete sections of A4, all in the east, otherwise it stretches across the south of Poland via Krakow and Wroclaw to the German border, Dresden and hence to Western Europe.
A2 Berlin-Warsaw-Belarus is incomplete only between Warsaw and the Belarus border, at Terespol. 79 heads 120 miles south off the Warsaw ring. Sandomierz is a modestly sized town but a major tourist attraction because of its old town.
A bridge on the all-important A1 motorway which will run north-south from Gdansk on the Baltic coast to Vienna, via Brno. The section north of Warsaw should be complete this year. Construction on the 275km section south from there to the Czech Republic starts in 2015.
A work in progress… in the meantime, watch this short trailer of colour footage from the Warsaw Uprising spliced with new film of the survivors in the city today. Makes a powerful point about where Poland came from, and the optimism with which it faces the future: