Bridge in Kwidzyn, Budimex.

Road projects completed recently have contributed to the development of bridge engineering and many innovative structures have been built. In 2008-2011 on the Wrocław Motorway Ring Road the Rędziński Bridge across the Oder was erected. The main part of the bridge is composed of four spans: the extreme ones are each 50 m long and two middle spans are each 256 m long. They are stayed by means of 80 pairs of cables onto a single pylon situated centrally between them. The H-shaped pylon has a record height of 122 m and it has reinforced concrete legs. Only the top parts are composite. The bridge is equipped with a modern monitoring system used for measuring the forces on the cables, the tilt of pylon branches and deck, wind speed and direction, ambient and structure temperature and warping.

A number of cable-stayed bridges with concrete decks have been built in Poland lately. These include, for instance: the flyover on the A4 in Wykroty (2008), the flyover in Opole (2010), the bridge across the Skawa river in Zembrzyce (2010), the bridge across the Motława river in Gdańsk (2012) and the flyover on the S8 in Oleśnica (2012).

Footbridge across the Dunajec river in Sromowce Niżne.
Footbridge over Al. Górnośląska in Katowice.

The bridge across the Vistula near Grudziądz, on the course of the A1 motorway, was built in 2009-2011. It is a prestressed concrete beam bridge with a length totalling 1,954 m. The reinforced concrete midstream span over the Vistula is 180 m long, while the two extreme spans are each 110 m long. The flyover erected using the longitudinal sliding method had a record-breaking length at that time – 991 m.

The Northern Bridge built in 2012 (795 m long) is the tenth bridge built across the Vistula in Warsaw and the eight road bridge in Warsaw. It accommodates two carriageways and double tramway tracks. The bridge has ten spans with lengths ranging from 45 to 160 m. The width of three autonomous lanes totals 46 m. The steel superstructure was assembled using three methods: longitudinal sliding onto su pports, conventional method using cranes, and lifting by means of post-tensioning bars or cables.

Mazowiecki Bridge in Rzeszów.

An outstanding steel arch bridge with concrete deck is the four-span viaduct commissioned in 2012 on the Juliusz Słowacki route in Gdańsk. The main prestressed concrete span, 120 m long, is centrally stayed on the arch structure. The tubular structure consists of two arches, spaced at 4 m and intersecting at the supports.

Recently, braver attempts have been made at building untypical yet world-famous structures. These include extradosed, ribbon or glulam bridges. A number of extradosed bridges were built. The largest of them were: the bridge across the Warta river in Konin (2007), the bridge across the Raba river in Dobczyce (2012) and the bridge across the Vistula in Kwidzyn commissioned in 2013.

The bridge in Kwidzyn is one of the longest (more than 800 m) extradosed structures in the world. Each middle span is 204 m long. The bridge has three short (20 m tall) pylons acting as deviators.

Footbridge across the Motława river in Gdańsk.
Uniwersytecki Bridge across the Brda river in Bydgoszcz

The pedestrian and vehicle overpass across the Raba river, commissioned in 2012 in Lubień, poviat of Myślenice, is also a unique bridge. The superstructure was designed as a prestressed concrete ribbon. The span length is 92 m and width 5.5 m. It can also carry vehicles weighing up to 15 tonnes. The deck is made of prefabricated components stayed by eight cables anchored in the concrete abutments. In 2006 in Sromowce Niżne on the Dunajec river a glulam footbridge with a record span length of 90 m, supported by a single pylon, was commissioned.

A glulam bridge with the record span in Poland is the steel suspension footbridge across the San river in Witryłów commissioned in 2010. Its span is 150 m long and the whole bridge is 234 m long. Two cables (dia. 40 mm) support the steel deck stiffened by means
of 12 windproof stay cables (dia. 35 mm). The pylons are made from tubes with a diameter of 60 cm.

In 2013 the steel arch bridge named after General Elżbieta Zawacka was commissioned in Toruń. The bridge is 540 m long and 24 m wide. Its steel structure is two steel arches with a record span of 270 m and height of 50 m. The spans rest on two supports on the banks of the river and on the third central support situated on the river. The left-bank overpasses rest on 18 supports and the right-bank ones on 12. For the needs of this investment a team of experts developed an innovative span installation method. The ready bridge arches weighing approx. 5,500 tonnes in total were towed onto water by tugboats and mounted onto fixed supports. The bridge accommodates two dual carriageways, a sidewalk and a bike lane with a total width of 30 m.

In the same year a new cable-stayed road bridge, being an element of the four-lane University Route, was commissioned across the Brda river in Bydgoszcz. It is a 200 m long bridge with two spans (110 + 90 m). The bridge’s 68.7 m tall pylons look like interpenetrating horseshoes shaped like the Greek letters alpha and omega. The footbridge passing over the road bridge gives an excellent view of the route.

Macharski Bridge in Kraków.
In 2015 the second tallest bridge in Poland – the Tadeusz Mazowiecki cable-stayed bridge across the Wisłok river in Rzeszów was commissioned. It is 482 m long, has two traffic lanes in both directions and two lanes for pedestrians and cyclists. The cable-stayed structure is supported by a 108 m tall A-shaped pylon to which 64 cables supporting the deck are attached. In June 2017 in Kraków the Cardinal Franciszek Macharski Bridge was commissioned on the S7 expressway. The structure is composed of two separate cable-stayed bridges – one 706 m long (in the direction of Bieżanów) and the other 695.5 m long (in the direction of Nowa Huta). Outstanding medium-span structures include footbridges in cities and some motorway flyovers. Their architectural design should attract attention, harmonize with the surroundings or be a landmark diversifying monotonous driving on the motorway. Notable ones include the prestressed concrete structures over the A4 motorway on the Wrocław-Katowice section. In recent years, light footbridges nicely designed as three-chord tubular trusses have become increasingly investments spanning up to 50 m. In addition, the technology of culvert construction and reconstruction of small-span bridges using corrugated steel plate has developed. These are flexible structures capable of adapting their shape to the compacted soil above them. A dozen or so such structures were built as ecological passages for animals.
Gen. E. Zawacka Bridge in Toruń, MZD Toruń.
Bridge across the Vistula in Bydgoszcz.
Castle Route and Łabudy Bridge across the Oder in Szczecin.
Rędziński Bridge in Wrocław.
Bridge across the Vistula in Puławy.