Russia's massive transport programme
First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
Russia is rolling forward with a massive programme of road building and reconstruction. The plans call for some 5,700 km of federal highways to be repaired by 2017. At present, only 38% of Russia's roads are in good condition and this has been identified as a key priority for improvement by the country's Government. Meanwhile the authorities in the Russian city of St Petersburg have a target infrastructure investment programme for 2012 as well as plans for 2013 and 2014. The aim is to allocate US$3.06 billion (€2.3 billion) from the city budget for construction in 2012 and a substantial portion will be invested in transport infrastructure. The list of projects includes construction of tunnels, pipelines, reconstruction of roads, traffic exits to the ring road, completion of Obvodny Canal embankment reconstruction. If the plans are implemented, as early as in 2012 the city may complete construction of the interchange on Pirogovskaya Embankment at the off-ramp of Sampsonievsky Bridge.However, the authorities in St Petersburg will not now push ahead with the Orlovsky Tunnel project. This tunnel deal was worth around $2 billion (€1.5 billion) and construction was due to be finished by 2016. Extensive geological tests have shown that the tunnelling conditions are extremely challenging, which wold have pushed up the cost of the construction work. At present the authorities are evaluating a series of options.