The sidewalk is cut open, excavators and drilling machines are working. The picture is the same on the other side of the road, where there used to be a tram stop and now is a fast food restaurant.
The work is humming. Land surveyors are measuring something, a tractor is ripping off the asphalt, workers are fussing around the drilling machine. These are only preparation works.
Having asked what they are building here, we've learned it will be a multi-level junction.
The workers are preparing the 130-ton machine for drilling holes for supporting pillars of the future junction. The machine engine driver has told us that the foundation of pillars will be one and a half meter in diameter and 27 meters deep.
It turns out, it is planned to build a service rake incline from the Embankment high road towards Naberezhno- Khreshchyatytska Street. The builders say it will be several hundred meters long and will pass right over the existing road, at the level of the pedestrian bridge connecting River station with the square. The old pedestrian bridge will be demolished.
The road itself will stay, but will be leveled down by several meters. In such a way, cars going towards Podol will not have to wait the traffic light, but will pass by the service rack incline.
In addition, the overhead road will have a turnout to the Volodymyrsky descent, starting from the River station building, passing by the Church of the Nativity and joining the descend over the cathedral.
The junction is expected to ease the traffic on the crossroad of Borichev descend and Naberezhno-Khreshchyatytska Street. The constructions has just started, but drivers already complain about new eternal traffic jam. ForUm has approached some drivers to learn how they are planning to street around.
Yuri lives in a suburb and gets to work through Obolon to Lypska Street in Pechersk. "It would be complicated to street around. The easy way is across Podol, but the problem is that I am not the only one smart. All drivers will go there and we will have continuous jams there. Another way is through the Left Bank, but bridges across Dniper are a problem. Apart from residents of the Left Bank, there will be "migrants" from the Right bank, and the bridges will be blocked. I am afraid I'll have to switch to subway or to leave house couple hours earlier in order to avoid traffic jams."
Oleksandr, taxi driver: "For us, taxi drivers, it is very unpleasant news. In the morning and in the evening many people want to get to work or home fast. But fast will be impossible, as we will have to street around the Pochtova square - across Podol, Victory avenue may be.
Bike rider Andriy lives in Obolon and works in Pechersk. "There are many bike riders going through Pochtova square, as Volodymyrsky descent has a bicycle track. I have no problems now, but if they close the square I'll have to seek other ways to get to work - through Andreyevsky descent, Park road. May be I will go directly through the construction site, bringing the bike in arms."
Motor-cyclist Yuri works as a courier. "I don't have any problems. While cars are stuck in a traffic jam, I always find a way to get through. Motorbike is not a car and does need wide roads."
Builders recommend drivers to stop complaining and start looking for ways around. The traffic on the site will be closed completely starting from August 27. Moreover, this inconvenience is not for a day or two. The construction is expected to be finished in 2013, by the Day of Kyiv, which is celebrated in the last weekend of May.
We have also appealed to the Kyiv department of traffic police with a request to give recommendations to drivers how to overpass the bottleneck. However, the traffic department has informed ForUm they know about future roadblock, but have no official information about details. The head of the department's press office Natalia Storozhyk has assured that within the next days the traffic police will announce recommendations to drivers.
Summing up, we want to say out loud that we hope the reconstruction of Pochtova square will not turn into a long-term problem for the whole Kyiv, and that the advantages of the new junction will pay off for all the time and nerves to be lost in traffic jams.
Dmytro Khyliuk, photos by Viktor Kovalchuk
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