Pontoon bridge construction for Warsaw sewage pipeline starts on Tuesday

2020-09-03 13:11 update: 2020-09-11, 17:57
The pontoon bridge in Warsaw in 2019. Photo. PAP/Leszek Szymański
The pontoon bridge in Warsaw in 2019. Photo. PAP/Leszek Szymański
The construction of a pontoon bridge across the Vistula River, which is to carry an alternative pipeline transporting Warsaw sewage to the Czajka treatment plant in northern Warsaw, will start on Tuesday, Sept. 8, PAP was told by an army official.

The construction should be completed by Thursday, Sept. 10, Marek Pawlak, the spokesman for the Polish Army general commander, said on Thursday, adding that the pontoon bridge would be built by soldiers from the 2nd Inowroclaw-based Military Engineering Regiment and the 2nd Sapper Regiment from Kazun.

The Polish army will again construct a pontoon bridge along the northernmost Warsaw bridge, after a main sewage pipe burst on Saturday in a failure that was similar to the one which occurred last year.

A pipe sending sewage to the Czajka treatment plant in northern Warsaw had a breakdown on Saturday, just a year after the main collector pipe failed. This prompted Warsaw authorities to carry out a controlled discharge of waste into the Vistula River.

A few days ago, Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said that the bridge can be used until November, due to weather conditions.

The pontoon bridge will be constructed by the army, while supervision and all the costs will be the responsibility of Warsaw.

The city is considering emergency moling under the river bed. "It seems that we'll be able to do it within a few months, so that we can stop the discharge of ozone-treated waste into the Vistula," Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski said on Tuesday.

Work on the pontoon bridge and moling will be carried out simultaneously, he added.

Also on Tuesday, Warsaw prosecutors launched an investigation into an alleged failure of duty by city officials after the first sewage pipe breakdown.

In late August last year, the main collector pipe feeding Czajka started malfunctioning and the system switched to a back-up pipe, which also failed a day later. As a result of the malfunction, the capital's water authority decided to conduct a controlled discharge of waste into the Vistula. 

The central government then sent military engineers to build a pontoon bridge across the river, where a temporary pipeline was installed, giving Warsaw time to repair the main pipelines submerged under the river bed. The repairs were completed in mid-November. (PAP)