Unfinished road in Russia is 'drive through hell'

By News from Elsewhere...
...as found by BBC Monitoring

Image source, Maxim Malkin/VK
Image caption,
Last exit to Yaroslavl

A Russian driver has described the "kilometre through hell" he travelled on finding out that a new road to the city of Yaroslavl was far from finished.

"I was driving along the fully-renovated stretch of road when, to my surprise, the road came to an end right in front of the Yaroslavl city sign - and my kilometre drive through hell began," Maxim Malkin wrote on the VK.com social media site.

He struggled through mud, bumps and potholes, all photographed on his dashboard camera, emerging from the forest into a bleak construction site before eventually reaching the promised destination of Gagarin Street.

"We saw the usual boasts in the news that the road was ready... but they've renovated the road without completing it... How is such idiocy possible in a civilised society?" he complained, demanding that the city council employ "smart people, not slackers".

It is true that the council announced that the slip road from Gagarin Street to the Yarloslavl-Shopsha motorway had been completed last week, the region's road transport service reported.

The national media has picked up the story, especially as Yaroslavl is part of the Golden Ring, a chain of medieval towns northeast of Moscow and a very popular tourist route.

The media attention prompted the city's deputy mayor, Rinat Badayev, to assure drivers that the repairs to the missing stretch of road have been costed, and a contractor will be found to complete it soon.

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The Russia media frequently report problems with road building and maintenance.

There was a scandal earlier this month when a video was leaked online of workers in the Urals describing how they use "neo-Tsarist technology" in repairing roads with straw. The three workers involved were later fired.

And two years ago, a group of women pensioners in the Urals grew so tired of waiting for the local authorities to fix their road that they hired the equipment and did the job themselves.

Image source, Maxim Malkin/VK
Image caption,
Home at last

Reporting by Yaroslava Kiryukhina

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