Nearly 2.5 million vehicles have passed through the tunnel connecting the islands of Uznam and Wolin in Swinoujscie (West Pomerania), since its opening in late June last year, according to Pawel Szynkaruk, the director of the Municipal Roads Administration in Swinoujscie.
The tunnel, which spans almost 1.5 kilometers, has significantly altered the dynamics of Swinoujscie, marking a considerable change eagerly anticipated by residents and visitors to the picturesque city. Pawel Szynkaruk emphasized that previously, the same number of vehicles traversed the islands via ferries throughout the entire year.
“The tunnel has brought about a transformation in Swinoujscie—a visible change that everyone in our beautiful city had been anticipating. It is a civilizational shift that has turned commutes between the islands into a matter of minutes, as opposed to the several dozen minutes it used to take during the era of ferry crossings. Today, the tunnel is simply a part of our daily lives. We’ve grown accustomed to it, embraced it, and come to love it because it has given us what we had been waiting for many years, something many doubted we would witness in our lifetime,” conveyed Swinoujscie Mayor Janusz Żmurkiewicz.
He added that the tunnel has united the city, “brought neighbors closer together, shortened the distance to schools, workplaces, and government offices.”
While the tunnel covers only 1.5 kilometers, it holds significant importance for this seaside city of 40,000 residents, drawing thousands of visitors each year. Pawel Szynkaruk noted, “The traffic in the tunnel is substantial. During the winter season, an average of 10-11 thousand vehicles pass through it daily. In the summer season, especially in the initial months post-opening, there were days when the number of vehicles exceeded 20 thousand, with an average of around 16-17 thousand.”
He highlighted that the current traffic between the Uznam and Wolin islands through the tunnel is several tens of percentage points higher than before its opening when the only option was city ferries, which transported a maximum of 10-12 thousand vehicles per day. There has also been an increase in the flow of vehicles heading not only to Swinoujscie but further to the border with Germany.
The nearly 2.5 million vehicles that have used the tunnel in the first half-year surpasses the total previously serviced by ferries throughout an entire year, Szynkaruk mentioned.
In the event of a technical closure of the tunnel for a few hours, usually at night, about 100-120 vehicles are transported between the islands using city ferries during that time.
The Swina Tunnel, which opened on June 30th last year, seamlessly connects the islands of Uznam and Wolin. Prior to its construction, reaching the resort often meant enduring long queues and delays for ferry crossings. The tunnel, spanning almost 1.5 kilometers, now enables a swift passage in approximately 2-4 minutes.
The construction of the tunnel was undertaken by the consortium of companies PORR/Gulermak for the investor – Swinoujscie; the deputy investor was the Szczecin branch of the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA). The construction cost exceeded 900 million PLN, with almost 775.7 million PLN coming from EU funds. Swinoujscie contributed the remaining amount from its own budget.