Repairs on Sofia’s boulevards: New defects and beach volleyball

Written by on September 7, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Repairs on Sofia’s boulevards: New defects and beach volleyball

In early summer, pretty ambitious repair projects for several boulevards in Sofia were launched. So far, none of them have been completed.

Boulevard Praga, an important connection between the city center and the Medizinska Akademia quarter, used by five bus lines and thousands of vehicles per day, was in a very bad state, to the extent that it was hardly drivable. The repairs of the street surface have been completed. Boulevard Praga was reopened last weekend. But on the sidewalks, the repairs are ongoing.

On Bulgarian National Television (BNT), Sofia’s Deputy Mayor for Transport Evgeni Krussev said, the number of workers had been doubled. The municipality wants to get those sidewalks done as soon as possible. Boulevard Praga now has an asphalt surface, which will speed up the traffic and increase comfort for drivers and passengers.

The repairs on Boulevard Todor Kableshkov are continuing. This one connects two of the most important traffic routes in Sofia, Boulevard Bulgaria and Boulevard Boris III. Due to a construction boom in the Buxton quarter and the recent erection of a Kaufland supermarket, traffic on Boulevard Todor Kableshkov had exploded. The renovation will hopefully make sure more traffic can be accommodated without that many traffic jams.

An old lady is trying to cross Raikovski Street at the intersection with Boulevard Dondukov. Photo by Lea Marcus.

Boulevard Dondukov is another central traffic route the state of which was as bad as it could have been in a Balkan country. The repairs, which started in July, were overdue. Krussev announced, the section between the Council of Ministers and Raikovski Street, as well as the one between Krakra Street and Vassil Levski Boulevard would be ready on September 15, while the repair of the sidewalks would continue.

But the renovation of the section between Raikovski Street and Boulevard Vassil Levski has not even started. It will, shortly after school starts on September 15. A big traffic mess is a foregone conclusion.

Krussev said on a BNT morning show, there would be a beach volleyball tournament held on Boulevard Dondukov on September 12. The municipality wanted to show that “repairs can become an arena of something pleasant”.

The NGO Spasi Sofia found many defects. Photo by Spasi Sofia.

The cobblestone surface on Boulevard Dondukov will be preserved, since the Ministry of Culture wanted to make sure the aura of Sofia will not be changed too much. In order to keep it stable, a cement foundation with a thickness of 25 centimetres is being applied. On Dondukov, absolutely everything will be replaced, including the tram tracks.

In the meantime, the Bulgarian NGO Spasi Sofia (“Save Sofia”) has sharply criticised the renovation of Boulevard Dondukov. The organisation said, the work would “enter history as one of the worst repairs performed in Sofia”. According to Spasi Sofia, “an outrageous lack of quality” will lead to new damages soon. The activists presented photos of what they call sloppy work and demanded from Krussev and Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, they should order the construction company to repair every single defect immediately.

Photo on top of page by Imanuel Marcus.

 

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About the Author

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