Of the 11 manholes on Pghndzagortsner St. in the S/Sarahart district in Alaverdi, 6 are missing covers: the sewer smell emanating from them makes it impossible to walk on certain parts of the road.
Head of the Tumanyan branch of Water Supply and Sewerage Service of Armenia Artur Koloyan, informed Hetq that the company placed covers on all the manholes on Pghndzagortsner St. a year ago. Apparently, most of them were stolen by the residents. "Just a few days ago, we placed covers on 4 open manholes, which again have been taken," he said, angered, while promising to cover the all 6 open manholes on Pghndzagortsner St. in the coming week.
Pghndzagortsner ("Coppersmiths") St. in the S/Sarahart district in the town of Alaverdi in Lori Province becomes lively at night: when the sun sets, a majority of residents come to the street to stroll — children in baby carriages, the elderly, young couples, the ill, and people with disabilities. The street extends from the cable car stop to Karap café and continues till the district's main road. The road, which was last repaired during the Soviet years, is in poor condition: the asphalt is cracked and the sidewalks are crumbling. There are three garbage bins placed on the left side of the street, near the cable car, which are buzzing with flies and midges, while parts of the right side of the street are impassable.
Residents know about the manholes without covers, which pose a threat to newcomers and especially children, some of whom ride bikes carelessly down the road. The addition of vehicles, some with novice drivers who swerve unexpectedly to avoid the manholes, means that this road can have unpredictable consequences for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
Resident Gagik Karyan, who is diabetic, walks on this street almost every day for the purpose of restoring his health. He walks in the vicinity of vehicles moving at breakneck speed. When he is accompanied by friends and family, Gagik walks nearly the entire length of the street; when he's alone, he returns after walking 200 meters. "The cars would drive faster before; now it seems they've slowed down a little," he says.
Alaverdi doesn't have a municipal park. The newly constructed park in the Engels park won't be serving the residents of the city's biggest neighborhood S/Sarahart as it's too far. The public park adjacent to Pghndzagortsner St. was divided into lots and privatized by residents once Armenia gained independence.
Hetq discussed the issue of repairing the sidewalks with Alaverdi mayor Artavazd Varosyan on October 30, 2012. Varosyan included sidewalk repair in the town's 2013–2016 development plan. However, as before, the roads continue to remain in disrepair.
"This year, 312 km of asphalt was repaired on Pghndzagortsner St. — at a cost of 1 million 269 thousand drams. It's not only the issue of the sidewalks — I've been given a plan for measured pothole repair every 100 meters. Whatever order they give us [to do], that's what we repair," said head of the Titanyan Brothers construction company Sanasar Titanyan.