Saturday, May 28, 2011

Road Development Increases in 2011

The Ulaanbaatar Road Construction department has seen its budget doubled this year and as a result there is a flurry of road building activity in UB. Here are a few of the current projects:
*University Road - The road between the Choibalsan statue and the Chinese Embassy has been repaved and is now open. It features a handy right turn lane that goes onto Ikh Suguuliin Gudamj. The road is still pretty narrow, as it stands now there is no room for a turn out, which make its difficult to pick up and drop off passengers (which is important in an area with lots of students). The road construction project is now being extended to the section of road just behind Parliament.
*Baga Toiruu (Little Ring Road) - This road is currently being torn up and widened. The project is still in its early stages. At some point in the next few weeks parts of Baga Toiruu will be closed. This is a big project so I am guessing that for the months of June and July most of this road will be closed off. The road construction department says that  the big empty spaces along Baga Toiruu will be turned into parking areas and small green spaces.
*Central Tower / Foreign Ministry - This intersection does not link up well (the streets are about 50m apart), so the city is reconfiguring the intersection so it connects a little bit better. There are left and right turn lanes being added. I am interested to see how this is going to turn out. It also looks like Ikh Suurgullin Gudamj (which runs along the east side of the square) is going to be a two-way street (its currently one way heading north).
*Tserendorjiin Gudamj - This street (between the State Department Store and the Circus) - is finally getting an upgrade. Its about time. When complete this will definitely improve this area, which lately had been really falling apart.
*Some courtyards are getting repaved. I have seen this is the courtyard at the Golden Gobi Guesthouse and behind the History Museum. A good start.
*The Liberty Square / Sambuu Street project is nearly complete. They have added a natural stone walkway in the middle of Sambuu Street, which looks nice but is pretty inaccessible for anyone with a baby stroller or wheel chair (its too bumpy). But the square is a great addition to the city and I have seen lots of kids out there flying kites and riding bikes. The concrete blue whale is still there but I fear his days are numbered.

Newly paved street at the University area.

Natural stone walkway near Tengis Kino.

Newly built Liberty Square by Tengis Kino.