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    Works on the excavation of the Vistula Spit have started

    As Magdalena Kierzkowska, a spokesman of the Maritime Office in Gdynia, has informed PAP the general contractor, the Polish-Belgian consortium of NDI and Besix which is currently conducting organizational and preparatory works in this area. For several weeks the land is being has cleaned of ferromagnetic objects, such as unexploded bombs and shells. So far, about 3,000 of elements have been found, including remnants of military operations during World War II ammo boxes and shells among them. This work will last about two weeks – she explained. “By the end of January 2020, however, removal of the carp and cleaning of the construction site is being planned. Installation of piezometers to monitor changes in the level of the water surface and its salinity has also begun” the spokesman adds.

    The crossing of the shipping channel through the Vistula Spit will be of great strategic importance not only for Poland, but also for the EU’s Baltic States. Full independence of (free) flow from the Baltic Sea to the waters of the Vistula Lagoon, which until now took place through the Strait of Pilavia, which is under jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. It will definitely improve the safety and protective capacity of the EU’s maritime external border. Another very important aspect is free access to the harbor in Elbląg, as well as to sailing marinas built in almost all towns surrounding the Lagoon from the marina in Braniewo on the Pasłęka River to Piaski near the border with RF. The new shipping channel opens a new tourist rout from the Baltic Sea to the Masurian Lakes, using the values ​​of the Elbląg-Ostróda Canal slipway.

      The shipping channel through the Vistula Spit is to be about 1 km long and 5 meters deep. It will allow vessels with a submersion possibility of up to 4 m, length 100 m, width 20 m to enter the port in Elbląg. The construction of the channel is expected to last until 2022, the total cost of the investment is estimated at approximately 880 million PLN. The whole investment will be financed from the state budget.

       According to Mateusz Morawiecki the Prime Minister of the Government, the construction of channel across the Vistula Spit is a key investment that is to contribute to the economic development of the Vistula delta, Elbląg Upland, Warmian-Masurian Voivodship, and at the same time this project is to ensure greater state security and more effective protection of the EU’s maritime border.
       The construction of the shipping channel from the Baltic Sea to the Vistula Lagoon has numerous opponents. Among the dissatisfied one may find some residents of the Vistula Spit, marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and some ecological organizations with their ally, which is the pro-Russian lobby. Following time, in the case concerning autonomous Republic of Poland, opponents of a good change submitted a complaint to the European Commission.
        Although there is no doubt that the arguments used by opponents are not due to interest of Polish country, comforting thing might be that the majority of Polish society supports the idea of the construction of the shipping channel available on the Polish market, according to research confirmed by IBRIS for ‘Rzeczpospolita’ February 22-23, 2019.


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