Bulgarian capital: The 10 construction projects going on in Sofia

Written by on June 2, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bulgarian capital: The 10 construction projects going on in Sofia

The city of Sofia will be a chaos this summer. But it is a chaos the inhabitants should probably embrace, since it is connected to a lot of overdue construction projects and repairs. Sofia Municipality and Mayor Yordanka Fandakova herself have made several statements, the sum of which point towards lots of changes. These are the 10 projects Sofia is working on now, or will be working on soon:

Boulevard Brussels: The connection between the city highway Tsarigradsko Chaussee and Sofia Airport has been provisional since Terminal 2 opened a decade ago. Ten years late, the last puzzle piece is finally being built, as we speak. It will take several months, but this construction sites will improve the airport traffic substantially.

Boulevard Bulgaria: Sofia Municipality is hoping for government funds for repairing this important boulevard, which connects the ring road with Sofia’s city center. Boulevard Bulgaria is congested almost all the time. Repairs might (or might not) help to speed up the traffic flow. Some bottlenecks connected to the Metro construction will reportedly disappear within days. Mayor Yordanka Fandakova wants to renovate Boulevard Bulgaria before Bulgaria takes over the E.U. Presidency in January of 2018.

Boulevard Dondukov: After long discussion rounds at the Sofia City Council, and input from the Ministry of Culture, a decision has been taken. This central boulevard will continue to have a cobblestone surface. On bTV, Mayor Fandakova said, the historic character of the city would be preserved that way. On Sunday, June 4, 2017, construction will start on the Eastern half of Dondukov. First, new water pipes will be installed. Because of the major overhaul, Boulevard Dondukov will be completely shut down, at some point. As it turns out, there will not be any bike lane. A separate article on Boulevard Dondukov can be read here.

Boulevard Montevideo: For many years, the state of this street in the rapidly growing Ovcha Kupel quarter has been appalling. Boulevard Montevideo is like Swiss cheese with additional meteorite craters. It is hardly passeable, which has been a problem for hundreds of students at New Bulgarian University and tens of thousands of inhabitants in that part of Sofia. Sofia Municipality is finally taking action. The construction has supposedly started.

Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova

Boulevard Patriarch Ephtimi: This very central boulevard has been closed for a long time, due to the ongoing construction of the third Metro line. On June 15, 2017, part of this street will be reopened for traffic. At this stage, Boulevard Vassil Levski, part of which used to be a one-way street, is “swallowing” all traffic in that area. The mess around the Five Corners (“Pete Kucheta”) will probably persist, at least for now.

Boulevard Todor Kableshkov: This one, located in the Buxton quarter of Sofia, is supposed to be extended. Since a lot of apartment and office buildings have mushroomed over there in the past 15 years, all the resulting traffic needs to be accommodated somehow. This boulevard has serious traffic problems, both at the intersection with Boulevard Bulgaria and the one with Boulevard Czar Boris III.

Graf Ignatiev Street: This central street will be converted into a pedestrian zone with tram traffic. Along with Graf Ignatiev Street, Slavejkov Square, along with its book market, are expecting a major overhaul, which will change the face of Sofia’s city center substantially. Mayor Fandakova’s latest statement on the subject of the book market was that it will stay. A separate article on this construction project can be found here.

Metro construction: All over Sofia, new Metro stations are being built for the third Metro line, including at “Theatre Sofia”, the intersection of Boulevards Praga and Pencho Slavejov, along Boulevard Bulgaria and elsewhere. Now, the construction of more stations will commence, e.g. in the Ovcha Kupel neighbourhood. The new Metro line will not be ready until 2019.

Russian Square (Ruski Pametnik): It was refurbished two years ago, since it had hardly been passeable, but there are already cracks in the asphalt. So it does need another repair. Road work of low quality is a frequent problem in Sofia, as the NGO Spasi Sofia accurately points out on a regular basis.

Video surveillance: Mayor Fandakova wants to extend and improve the city’s video surveillance system once the has the budget required. This will include lots of CCTV cameras in places frequented by many people, including malls and Metro stations.

Photo on top of page: Boulevard Patriarch Ephtimi, shot by Imanuel Marcus

Related article: “The 10 least sexy cars on Boulevard Dondukov”

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.