Road Construction at “Ayrarat” Cinema Theatere Halted Leaving The Crossroad in a Mess

Travelling to work from Erebuni to Mashtots avenue every day means, that I have to spend over 1 hour per day being stuck in the minibus at the crossroad of Khanjyan – Agatangeghos streets and Tigran Mets avenue. From this forced daily observation of the construction site I came to realize yesterday, that I haven’t seen any construction going on on the section across “Ayrarat” cinema for around a month now. I remember being rather welcoming albeit a bit skeptical when this massive construction works started back in June:

Construction works are in progress also on the Khanjyan – Agatangeghos streets and Tigran Mets avenue crossroad. Considering the exceptional levels of congestion in this crossroad a multifunctional underground tunnel-passage is being built here. At the moment one-sided traffic is set up on the section across the “Ayrarat” cinema theatere.
This is all very good, but for the fact, that the anti-congestion efforts of the municipality have resulted in even more congestion. So now we know what’s going on, but will we be able to survive it all? Considering the state Komitas is in after two years of ongoing construction works I’m a bit skeptical. I guess we will have to wait about 2 years and see…

Having all this background in mind, I decided to stop by and check out what’s going on yesterday. It seems that I was right – the construction site was abandoned. This sign at the entry to the barrage hiding the construction site says the construction is due to complete in 7 months. Remembering that it started back in June I could easily calculate, that at least 3 months have passed leaving a big hole in the ground and nobody to even guard it. Does this mean that we all will have to endure the hell around this site much longer then originally planned? Does this mean that it will become another Komitas avenue? I called the City Hall (using the number on their website) and found no response. So today I wrote a letter to them with the following content and expect and answer, which will be published here:

I have noticed, that over the past 1 month the construction works of the underground passage accross the “Ayrarat” cinema theater have been halted. I would like to know, what is the reason for this, when can we expect the construction works to resume, and how this pause of works will affect the initial schedules of finishing construction.
I must note, that my question and your response to it will be published on the Armenian Blog Review electronic publication at and I expect your kind response as soon as possible.

Via the gossip channel on the same issue (!) a friend told me, that the road construction at the mentioned site has been stopped, because the digging has gone too deep without careful planning (aren’t you surprised(!) ?) and they have hit the wall of the tube (the tunnel through which the metro trains run). I guess all we can do now is wait and complain.
abandoned construction site at

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. It was terrible in Komitas today. The road works here have caused chaos. What gets me though is the jerks on the roads who couldn’t be bothered to wait in line and actually mounted the sidewalk and drove there instead. I saw five cars do this for a considerable distance even though pedestrians had to jump out of their path.
    Sometimes I wonder how this country got to be in the mess it is now. Nobody cares. Nobody. Everyone thinks they can break the law and endanger lives and only thinks of themselves rather than their communtieis or their country. Well, there are exceptions, of course, but from top to bottom, selfish and lawlessness seems to be in the majority.
    From top to bottom, from bottom to top. It needs to change, and it needs to change now. This needs to be a rule of law country which it quite clearly is not and this extends to the construction you post about. One rumor is, for example, that the current Mayor will be out of a job next year (and it’s true, the Mayor will apparently have to be elected by some body next year).
    So, loads of construction is being done now rather than in phases to limit the disruption, inconvenience and danger posed by such works. I’ll leave it to all of you to speculate why there would be such massive spending on construction all at once now, but I don’t think it will be hard to find one likely reason. Somebody is making a killing on all of this.

  2. I just received a phone call from Yerevan City Hall, and a girl informed me, that the construction works at the mentioned site are in progress, and they work 3 shifts. She was sure, that I have been at the site during their break time.
    On my turn I assured her, that:
    a) I will visit the site again at another time to see if there is anybody actually working there, but that I haven’t been seeing any works for at about a month now.
    b) I hadn’t just written this post out of nothing: I had asked a bunch of people around, walked all around the site and even visited the little shelter, where their construction guards should have been, and only found some abandoned situation there, so I seriously think, that even if the municipality has no knowledge of it, the site looks quite definitely abandoned to me.
    I asked her to double check again and if they find out anything more, to please let me know.
    PS: at any rate I was pleasantly surprised at getting a response from the City Hall so fast – I only wrote the email at lunchtime today, and got the response in 4 hours. That’s really efficient, although the response was not satisfactory.

  3. I received a second phone call, from the information department of the City Hall. It turns out that I had called the wrong number yesterday on the first place and my message had traveled from the “One window” system of City Hall to the PR department, from where they had called me. Still, I find the response pretty efficient.
    Secondly, the head of the director informed me, that the works haven’t stopped, they are in progress, and they are doing work with the utilities/communications systems, which might not be noticeable, or I might have turned up at a wrong hour – the time for break. So I promised that I will visit the site again (which is exactly what I intend to do) tomorrow, and if I notice that there’s nobody working, I will call the Service which controls construction works, and visit the site again with their representatives. Too bad its too late for all this today, better luck tomorrow!

  4. Well, she is probably clueless and is just making something up because she doesn’t know better. Or she thinks you are talking about the Khanjian/Vartanants intersection, which is more than likely, as that tunnel construction is going full speed ahead unfortunately.
    In any case, I am hoping/praying that eventually they will abandon some of these lofty ideas, like the intersection you mentioned which I imagine is absolute chaos during the day and hopefully the Orbeli Street project–I still don’t know what the hell they’re doing there despite being told by a friend who lives on that street and by taxi drivers. It looks like they are going forward with the Paregamutiun bridge which will be an unfortunate disaster as it will probably make the situation a lot worse than it was.
    Logic dictates that since winter is right around the corner and that there will be no way in hell that construction will be finished by then at the intersection you mentioned, they will have to fill up the hole and forget about the whole thing, leave things as they were before (it wasn’t so bad before anyway). But then again we are in Armenia and I still do not understand the logic system being implemented here (no offense).

  5. I just passed by the construction site (21:10) and noticed that construction is going at full speed, with a couple of big cars digging and projectors burning, as if the construction had never stopped.
    Does it mean that I was wrong and that I just happened to visit and photographe the site at wrong time, i.e. when everybody was away for lunch? I don’t know, and I can’t really prove, can I?
    Even if I was wrong and I’m ready to accept it and say I’m sorry, I’m still happy I brought up the topic and made all the noise with calling the City Hall and writing that message to them, because I am sure 100% that I’ve never seen these guys working at this hour even from the first day the construction started. Now that I see it with my very own eyes I can believe, that the darn construction which is causing so much discomfort, will be finished in February or March 2008, and that is at least something!

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