Sofia: Dondukov Boulevard will not be ready on time

Written by on October 23, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Sofia: Dondukov Boulevard will not be ready on time

The overdue renovation of Dondukov Boulevard, an important traffic artery in the centre of Sofia, was supposed to start on June 1 2017. Then, discussions followed. Cobblestone vs. asphalt and all of that. The Bulgarian Ministry of Culture insisted on not changing the aura of the city too much. Therefore, the cobblestone alternative won.

On July 3 2017, a month late, construction work started. Workers began taking the boulevard apart completely, including the old cobblestones and the tram tracks. Even new water pipes were installed.

Pedestrians are forced to walk right through the construction site.

The idea was to get the job done, before everyone returns from the summer holiday, including hundreds of pupils at the First English Language School as well as the primary school which uses the same building, on Dondukov Boulevard. Sofia municipality initially said that everything was supposed to be ready on August 31.

This later changed to October 31.

That second deadline is a week away and, looking at the construction site, the only conclusion one can draw is that the refurbishment will take at least two weeks longer.

These tram tracks seem to be ready, on a relatively short part of the construction site.

At the intersections with Vassil Levski Boulevard and Rakovski Street, the tram tracks were installed only about halfway by now. The actual street surface is only at the sand level. A concrete layer and the tens of thousands of of cobblestones are still missing.

Several problems exist in Sofia, because of the ongoing construction on Dondukov:

> Trams 20, 22, and 23 only operate part of the way. Bus 22TM, which is supposed to be the substitute, is unreliable and often does not arrive for 30 minutes or longer. Especially for elderly people, this is an issue.

> There is a lot of noise, which annoys residents. Now it looks like they will have to endure this much longer than initially announced.

> Since Dondukov is partially closed, lots of bad traffic jams are building up on several parallel streets and boulevards.

> There is no room for pedestrians. At the corner with Rakovski Street, people are forced to walk right through the construction site, which is rather unconventional and actually dangerous.

The yellow cobblestone surface on the western end of Dondukov is falling apart.

Today, Sofia is under a Code Yellow weather alert due to heavy rainfall expected by forecasters. This aspect will not exactly help the construction either.

Also, there is yet another problem: The street surface made up of those famous yellow cobblestones on the Largo side of Dondukov, is falling apart.






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