We returned to the Romanian capital last night after a few weeks away to discover much of the city has become an enormous building site. From Piata Sudului to Casa Scanteii almost all of Bucharest’s main roads and junctions appear to be undergoing serious repair or construction work.
The north of the city is the worst affected.
An underpass is being built at Piata Scanteii, affecting traffic into and out of the city. The Arc de Triumf is being renovated, and while this has yet to impact on traffic, it soon will when construction of a pedestrian underpass begins. At Piata Charles de Gualle the road surface is being repaired, and a lane of traffic around the roundabout is closed. Of the three, it is this which is causing the biggest traffic jams, with queues all the way back to Piata Victoriei not uncommon, especially in the morning. We do not remember the road surface being in particularly bad shape here, and wonder if the city council couldn’t have waited until the work at Casa Scanteii and the Arc de Triumf was finished before opening a third building site within less than a kilometre away.
Visitors to Bucharest taking the Sightseeing Bus Tour might want to get off the bus (as it heads north) at Piata Victoriei: beyond that you will sit in traffic for some time for little reward.
To anyone wanting to get to Herastrau Park (or the Village Museum) we recommend the metro (to Aviatorilor).
And we have yet to mention the ongoing widening of the pavement along stretches of Calea Victoriei.
South of the river, chaos reigns on Soseaua Mihai Bravu, where it meets Calea Vacaresti. Here, the city council recently opened half of a flyover (taking traffic coming from the south over the busy junction. The other part of the flyover is under construction now, and is causing delays for anyone heading south. Why the two parts of the flyover couldn’t be built simultaneously is – like much else today – beyond us.
A couple of kilometres down the road yet more roadworks await drivers, at Piata Sudului, where an underpass is being built. Of all the projects currently underway, this is probably the most essential: traffic in the area will be a nightmare for the time it takes to complete, but once finished anyone who travels via Piata Sudului will count their blessings.
Note that this is not a full list of Bucharest’s current major roadworks: if you know of others worth adding to the map, let us know.