The history of Mostostal Warszawa
The history of Mostostal Warszawa begins in spring of 1945 with the founding of a new enterprise aimed to support the country's efforts to recover from war damage. The key staff potential of the organization built from the scratch comprised the engineers and employees of one of the most renowned companies of the pre-war Poland – Towarzystwo Przemysłu Metalowego Konstanty Rudzki i Spółka. The rich history of the enterprise goes back to the turn of the XIX century and is overfilled with numerous significant accomplishments recognized as the milestones of the development of Polish engineering solutions.
During its long-term activity (1880 – 1939), the Warsaw-based company erected several hundreds of bridge structures across Poland and Russia, including several dozens of enormous passages through the largest rivers of Asia on the main railroads crossing the Asian continent. In Poland, the engineers of "Rudzki" erected bridge structures in Dęblin, Modlin, Puławy, Płock, Włocławek, and the "third bridge" in Warsaw, later named after Prince Józef Poniatowski.
The newly established Mostostal began its first project within just three weeks following the end of the Second World War. It consisted in the reconstruction of the Prince J. Poniatowski Bridge in Warsaw. During the following years, the Company was in charge of building the majority of road passages in the capital city (excluding the North Bridge) as well as numerous railway and car bridges across the country.
The persons who responsible for establishing the new company were three well- experienced specialists associated with Towarzystwo Przemysłu Metalowego Konstanty Rudzki i Spółka. Józej Dangiel was the Managing Director, Cezary Lubiński – the Technical Director and Romuald Gołębiowski held the Sales Administration Director position. These were the founders of the Company's future achievements.
In the postwar years, Mostostal Warszawa participated in the construction of numerous key industrial projects of the era – the cement plant located in the south-eastern Poland, the steel processing plants in Nowa Huta, Stalowa Wola and Warsaw, the nitirc acid processing facilities in Puławy, the refinery in Płock, the chemical plants in Włocławek and Bydgoszcz.
The Company has also completed numerous construction projects abroad – in Libya, Germany, France, Scandinavian countries and within the territory of today's Russia and Baltic states. Mostostal Warszawa was also the builder of the steel structure of the tallest building in Europe – the Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt. The design of the 300-meter tall office building had been prepared by the world's renowned designer Sir Norman Foster.
Towarzystwo Przemysłu Metalowego Konstanty Rudzki i Spółka
Officially, Mostostal was established in 1945. However, the Company's ethos, technical expertise and experience derive from a lot deeper and older tradition as the core staff of the organization comprised the think-tank of engineers and distinguished specialists of one of the most outstanding company of the pre-war Poland – Towarzystwo Przemysłu Metalowego Konstanty Rudzki i Spółka.
The company registered in 1858 was headquartered in Warsaw's Solec district located between Rozbrat and Czerniakowska Streets. In the beginning, it was operating mainly as a foundry – an industrial plant making a full line of cast-iron, brass and copper goods. Konstanty Rudzki, the company's founder, main shareholder and long-time Director and President, had studied at the Parisian breeding ground for engineers - École des Arts et Manufactures – the very same technical university attended also by Gustaw Eiffel. Through the 40s and 50s of the XIX century, he was gaining experience at various steel plants of France, England and Germany as well as southern Poland.
The industrial plant founded and managed by Rudzki was going through a phase of rapid development and it was not too long before it established a strong position on the Warsaw, Polish and international markets.
Although the company was making agricultural machinery, sewage pipes and other steel goods, it was the production of bridge elements and their assembly at construction sites that remained the main drive behind the company's success at the turn of the centuries. Towards the end of the century, the company employed over one thousand employees and was the third largest machinery construction enterprise in the Polish Kingdom. The Warsaw-based steel manufacturing company became one of the key beneficiaries of the intensive railway development program in the Czar's Russia.
For Rudzki, the meticulous completion of orders - the construction of bridges, including caisson and concrete works – proved helpful in acquiring new bridge contracts. In this respect, the Polish company was practically the only enterprise in the Russian Empire capable of completing such contracts. Prior to the First World War, almost 1/5 of bridge contracts within the European and Asian parts of the Russian Empire were completed by Rudzki's company.
The Company was building bridges over the Empire's main rivers: Volga, Amu-Darya, Ingada, Ussuri, Amur, Neva and many others. The Warsaw-based enterprise completed many passages under the Trans-Siberian railway project, including all the bridges alongside the section running parallel to the northern bank of the Amur River. One must admire the Polish engineers of that era for the method they applied to organize the works within the area so distant from mother plant. The steel structures provided by the Polish plant were transported by railway to Odessa of the Black Sea. Next, down the sea route through the Suez Canal to the Far East and farther to Nikolayevsk located at the mouth of the Amur River. From there, they were taken on river boats to the construction sites with some of them located as far as 2500 km away. There, the elements were finally assembled using own equipment on supports built by company's specialists.
In Poland, the engineers of "Rudzki" were building bridge facilities in Dęblin, Modlin, Puławy, Płock, Włocławek, and in Warsaw. The erection of the first entirely welded European road bridge over Słudwia River near Łowicz was an outstanding achievement within the field of engineering that drew worldwide attention. The plant was also building water turbines and steel telegraph towers. In total, during its long-term operation, the Warsaw-based company made several hundreds of bridge facilities (many of which were from 200- to 1000-meter long). The key projects included, inter alia, the 2,5-km long Amur River bridge near Khabarovsk – the longest bridge structure on the Old Continent.
The list of achievements of the Warsaw-based company is the best proof that Polish civil engineering has always been top-notch with bold ideas particularly within the fields of production organization and bridge engineering. Though Towarzystwo Przemysłu Metalowego Konstanty Rudzki i Spółka was shut down following the Second World War, its values, experience and innovative technical approach were accepted by Mostostal founded in 1945.