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.

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

On Bulgarian National Television (BNT), Sofia’s deputy mayor in charge of transport Evgeni Krussev said that the number of workers had been doubled. The municipality wants work on the pavements completed as soon as possible. Praga Boulevard now has an asphalt surface, which will speed up the traffic and increase comfort for drivers and passengers.

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

An old woman trying to cross Rakovski Street at the intersection with Dondukov Boulevard. Photo: Lea Marcus.

Dondukov Boulevard 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 said that the section between the Council of Ministers and Rakovski Street, as well as the one between Krakra Street and Vassil Levski Boulevard would be ready on September 15, while the repair of the pavements would continue.

But the renovation of the section between Rakovski Street and Vassil Levski Boulevard has not even started. It will, shortly after school starts on September 15.

Krussev said that there would be a beach volleyball tournament held on Dondukov Boulevard 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 Dondukov Boulevard 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 25cm 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 Dondukov Boulevard. The organisation said that 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 damage soon. The activists presented photos of what they call sloppy work and demanded from Krussev and mayor Yordanka Fandukova, they should order the construction company to repair every single defect immediately.

 

 

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