Girish Mahajan

A4 autostrada (Poland)

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Length  672.8 km
A4 autostrada (Poland)
From:  A4 - border Germany-Poland at Görlitz-Zgorzelec
Major cities  Kraków, Wrocław, Katowice, Rzeszów, Gliwice, Tarnów

The autostrada A4 in Poland is an east-west motorway that runs through southern Poland north of the Sudetes and Carpathian Mountains, from the Polish-German border at Zgorzelec-Görlitz (connecting to the German A4 autobahn), bypassing Wrocław, Opole, Gliwice, Katowice, Kraków, Tarnów, Dębica and Rzeszów to the Polish-Ukrainian border at Korczowa-Krakovets. The motorway is a part of the European route E40. The A4 parallels national road 94 (which connects with German Bundesstraße 6).

Contents

Map of A4, Poland

History of construction

Some western stretches of this motorway were initially built as a Reichsautobahn by Nazi Germany in the 1930s under her pre-war borders. After World War II and the takeover of Poland by the communist regime, with new borders, the existing roads received minimal maintenance and upgrades and became notorious for their poor quality, a phenomenon similar to that observed in East Germany. Extensive reconstruction, especially of the section between Legnica and Wrocław, has removed all traces of the old concrete road surface, but some aspects of 1930s standards of construction remain; for example, the aforementioned stretch does not have an emergency lane, a feature that is to be added in the future.

The section between Kraków and Katowice was built from the 1980s to 1996 and the section from Wrocław to Katowice between 2000 and 2005. In August 2009 construction of the last western part of the motorway from the border with Germany to the junction with A18 motorway was completed. Also completed in 2009 was the first portion of the motorway east of Kraków (ending on national road 75 junction, near Szarów). In July 2016 the missing 41 km between Rzeszów and Jaroslaw was completed. This was the final stretch of missing motorway to be completed. So in 2016 the entire length of the A4 from the German border to the Ukrainian border was completed, making the A4 the first complete motorway in Poland.

The original plan was to finish the rest of the motorway by about 2013, but because of the UEFA decision to host the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine and the resulting need to improve the road infrastructure connecting the two countries, the date for opening the motorway to traffic was moved up to June 2012. This ambitious target was not attained after multiple delays, some caused by the floods of 2010.

References

A4 autostrada (Poland) Wikipedia


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