Sofia city hall has warned about heavy traffic congestion caused by repairs at one of the key junctions in the city, the Ruski Pametnik traffic circle, which began on June 10.
“This is the most difficult project, even more difficult than repairs on Tsarigradsko Chaussee [Boulevard], in terms of organising traffic, because we will have 17 separate traffic re-redirection stages. The main reason is that a signification part of the reconstruction is tied to changing the infrastructure underground,” Bulgarian National Radio quoted Sofia deputy mayor for transport Lyubomir Hristov as saying.
The plans envision replacing the century-old underground water pipes, moving tracks so that trams no longer cross the junction but pass next to it, as well as replacing paving stones with asphalt on one of the three lanes – earlier plans called for full replacement of paving stones with asphalt, but were amended following opposition from local residents.
Sofia city hall has said that the traffic circle’s reconstruction will lead to diminished congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The project will cost 3.5 million leva (about 1.8 million euro) and is due to be completed by August 20.
Ruski Pametnik, or Russian Monument, was built in 1882 following the liberation of the principality of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in the 1877/78 war. It lies at the junction of three major boulevards, with the temporary shutdown affecting traffic towards residential boroughs in the south-western part of Sofia.