Chief Architect of Yerevan Artur Meschyan told reporters on May 14, 2019 that the design work for the new metro station Ajapnyak and the ropeway connecting the 2nd administrative district of Nor Nork with Yerevan downtown will be completed by the end of the year, while the construction will start by the end of 2020.
“The link will be from the 2nd Massive to the former Polytechnic Institute dormitory area. […] There will be further development towards Victory Park, but the primary issue is the link between Nork and the city center, “said the chief architect of Yerevan.
In October, 2019, during the meeting of the “My Step” faction of the Yerevan Council of Elders, Meschyan again touched upon the topic and noted that the design and the construction calculations of the metro and ropeway projects are almost completed. “The sketches will soon be posted on the official website of the Yerevan municipality,” Council of Elders member Isabella Abgaryan noted on her Facebook page.
The Fact Investigation Platform decided to find out at what stage the ropeway construction work was and whether the city authorities had met the deadlines or not.
History of the ropeway construction
The first and the only ropeway in Yerevan operated from 1967 to 2004. Since the accident in 2004, when one of the carriages fell down, the ropeway has no longer been operating. It connected Nork with Heratsi Street. In 2007 the ropeway was privatized by an individual businessman.
Discussions on the construction of a new ropeway in the capital began in 2017.
In the fall of the same year, the previous mayor Taron Margaryan met with an Austrian construction company, and a preliminary agreement was reached to form a joint working group to carry out a professional study of the capital’s infrastructure and project implementation. At the beginning of 2018, the City Hall was waiting for the completion of the preliminary assessment of this company.
After the April 2018 revolution, discussions on the ropeway construction were resumed. By spring 2019, Meschyan had already said that he planned to finish the project by the end of 2019 and begin construction by 2020.
“Since the whole system of collecting the ropeway is much shorter than the metro, I think that if everything goes as planned, we will be able to complete quite a large amount of ropeway next year: at least we can provide the column for the whole line. The only thing that will remain will be the infrastructure, which is not a problem,” Meschyan told reporters on May 14.
As for who the investor was, Meschyan and the municipality did not specify. The Yerevan Development Plan 2020, which was put for public discussion in November 2019, mentioned that the preliminary calculations by the Austrian Dopelmayer company were being studied.
Excerpt from the Yerevan Development Plan 2020
In response to the inquiry submitted by the Fact Investigation Platform about the design of the ropeway and the implementation of construction work, the municipality provided information from the development plan without clarifying the timing of changes and the start of construction work. In response to the inquiry it was also mentioned that “locations of stations and towers are being identified“.
In an interview with Armenpress at the end of the year, Mayor Hayk Marutyan also mentioned that Dopelmayer’s calculations are being studied and negotiations are underway with the company to continue the joint work.
This Austrian company has been cooperating with the Municipality of Yerevan since 2017. As mentioned above, Taron Margaryan had a meeting with Doppelmayr Seilbahnen Program Manager in October 2017. The company has built more than 14,000 ropeways in over 2700 cities around the world.
Deadlines for the construction of “Ajapnyak” metro station
As for the construction of the metro station in Ajapnyak, the municipality of Yerevan informs that the construction is planned to start in spring of this year. In response to the inquiry of Fip.am, the municipality’s Information and Public Relations Department mentioned that the name of the investor company is known, but they did not specify what company it was talking about. The sketches of the new metro station were posted on the official website of the municipality in October 2019. As it is already well known, the station, will be built near the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies. It is planned to have a bridge built over the Hrazdan River, on which the station will probably be installed.
According to Yerevan Chief Architect Artur Meschyan, the announcements made last year regarding the ropeway have not yet been implemented. As for the subway, the Fact Checking Platform will pursue whether the deadlines are met or not.