Poland’s Vistula Spit Canal: The Tusk government will complete the flagship investment of the PiS

Source: The General Staff of the Polish Army/Twitter@SztabGenWP
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Poland’s Tusk government will carry on with the flagship investment project initiated by the Law and Justice Party (PiS), ensuring the completion of the Vistula Spit Canal project.

Dariusz Klimczak, the minister of infrastructure, has declared that the government will finance the creation of a navigational channel before the port in Elbląg. “Dredging works will commence this year,” he announced, marking the next phase in the Vistula Spit cut-through, a project left unfinished due to disputes over funding responsibilities between the state and local government during the previous administration.

The Ministry of Infrastructure’s plans involve the Maritime Office in Gdynia to establish the necessary infrastructure for the project, with a state budget allocation of an additional 30 million PLN for the channel’s development. This effort is part of a broader strategy to make the Elbląg port economically functional and accessible to maritime ships within a year and a half, emphasizing the government’s commitment to resolving long-standing issues and boosting the local economy.

The Vistula Spit Canal and the planned waterway to the port of Ebląg (source: Wikipedia).

The completion of the Vistula Spit canal has been a contentious project, with debates over its environmental impact and economic viability.

The final stage of the investment had been at a standstill because the Elbląg local government claimed it did not have the funds for its execution, insisting that the dredging should be financed by the state budget. The previous government refused to agree unless it received shares in the Elbląg port, which was unacceptable to the city.

Minister Klimczak pointed out on Friday that the state would finance the deepening, ending the “conflict between the government and the local government in Elbląg.” He added, “Up to now, the investment consisting of the Vistula Spit cut-through made no sense without this last stage, without an agreement with the local government, without an agreement with the port in Elbląg, which can functionally ensure economic service to this place.”

Andrzej Śliwka, a member of parliament from the PiS party and its mayoral candidate for Elbląg, criticized the local government’s management of Elbląg port, claiming it has been relegated to a parking lot for trucks, leading to significant financial losses and underemployment. He has proposed a 100 million PLN investment to transform the port into a strategic economic hub, in line with successful models used in other major Polish ports. He suggests that this is opposed to his competitors’ preference for a minor port with limited functionality.

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