Moscow authorities have re-covered a brick-paved sidewalk in the city center with asphalt, eliciting outrage from Muscovites who say they are tired of never-ending roadworks.
Photos depicting workers laying asphalt right on top of the bricks on Ulitsa Prechistenka were posted on Facebook this week by Moscow journalist Alexei Fyodorov.
“First … they spent half of the summer paving the sidewalks with bricks! Then … they dug up the bricks to replace the curbs! Then they restored the bricks they dug up to install the curbs! And now they are covering it with asphalt!” the emotional caption to a photo posted Monday read.
The pictures showed that workers have also filled in drainage channels on the sidewalks with asphalt. The posting quickly spread through social media and made the headlines of several large media outlets.
On Tuesday evening, officials from the municipal enterprise Avtomobilnye Dorogi (Automobile Roads) explained the situation to news outlet Moskva. The bricks, according to them, were “replaced” with asphalt at the request of the owner of the building near the sidewalk.
The company that owns the building earlier financed paving the sidewalk with bricks, spokespeople for Avtomobilnye Dorogi told Moskva on Tuesday. The last time the bricks were repaired was in 2011, and this year the owner of the building requested that municipal services replace them with asphalt.
“An examination showed that the brick-paved [sidewalk] was in unsatisfactory condition,” hence the decision to replace it with asphalt, an unidentified official was cited by Moskva as saying.
“I don't care why the decision was made and how,” Fyodorov wrote on his Facebook page. “I see a city that was upturned numerous times, a wound that's not healing. I have hundreds of comments from people with addresses and examples [of continuing roadworks],” he wrote.
Commenting on his posting, Muscovites mentioned several examples of roadworks that don't make sense to them.
“[Near] Voikovskaya [metro station] they've been laying bricks and pulling them up, then laying them again and pulling them up again,” wrote a commenter named Natalya Lukyanchikova.
“I spent a week watching them in the Sokolniki district spend three nights painting markings on the road — and then demolishing the asphalt with the freshly painted markings,” wrote commenter Yevgenia Yamova.