Moscow–Saint Petersburg motorway

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Moscow–Saint Petersburg motorway
Route information
History: First portions to open in 2013
Major junctions
East end: Moscow
West end: Saint Petersburg
Highway system
Russian Federal Highways

M11

The Moscow–Saint Petersburg motorway or М11[1] is a planned toll road between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The first section of the motorway is to be finished in 2013. The road will run parallel to the M10 highway. Its construction has been met with strong protest from environmentalist groups and residents' groups, mainly around the Khimki forest.[2]

Route[edit]

Its route is parallel to the M10 highway. It will start in Moscow, will run via Moscow Oblast (90 km or 56 mi), Tver Oblast (253 km or 157 mi), Novgorod Oblast (233 km or 145 mi), Leningrad Oblast (75 km or 47 mi) to its destination in Saint Petersburg.[3]

Characteristics[edit]

  • Length = about 700 kilometres (430 mi)
  • Average speed = 150 km/h (93 mph)
  • Number of interchanges = 32
  • Number of overpasses = 167
  • Number of bridges = 85
  • Number of lanes = from 4 to 10
  • Lane width = 3.75 metres (12.3 ft)
  • Shoulder width = 3.5 metres (11 ft)

History[edit]

The first section of the road going through the Khimki forest

On July 27, 2009, "Severo-Zapadnaya Concessionnaya Kompaniya" (North-West Concession Company, NWCC), a consortium comprising the VINCI company and other leaders signed a concession contract for the first section (15–58 km or 9.3–36.0 mi) of the motorway with the Federal Highway Agency of Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation (Rosavtodor), the grantor, in the presence of the Russian Minister of Transport, Mr Levitin. Total construction cost is estimated at approximately 1 billion Euros.[4]

On April 26, 2010, Vnesheconombank and Sberbank signed an agreement to grant "NWCC" a 29.2 billion-ruble credit with the order to build the first section of the motorway.[5]

Later, on August 26, 2010, President Medvedev suspended the construction after the environmentalists' protests against the motorway's route through the Khimki Forest. According to his decision, additional public and expert discussions are to be carried out.[6][7]

On December 14, 2010, Russian government decided to continue the construction through the Khimki forest. Speaking in St Petersburg, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said new forest would be planted on a territory of 500 hectares (1,200 acres) to compensate cutting down about 100 hectares (250 acres) of the Khimki forest.[8]

Construction[edit]

According to the Head of Rosavtodor, Anatoliy Chabunin, the construction was to start in October 2010 and will be finished in three years.[9]

In November 2014, a 72 kilometres (45 mi) section of the Moscow–Saint Petersburg Motorway opened to traffic In Tver Oblast. The stretch runs from north of Torzhok to the northwest of Vyshny Volochyok, bypassing the latter city on the west. It is the first section of the Moscow–Saint Petersburg Motorway to open to traffic.[10]

Environmental protests[edit]

The motorway is planned to go through Khimki Forest. Environmentalists say the forest is a unique ecosystem that is home to centuries-old oak trees and many species of wildlife.[7]

Various groups have opposed the motorway's construction. Protests have been held and these have frequently been broken up by the police, involving what some have considered to be police brutality. Some protesters have also been attacked and intimidated, and two journalists – Mikhail Beketov from Khimkinskaya Pravda and Oleg Kashin from Kommersant[2] – have been beaten up in what are thought[who?] to be attacks linked to their coverage of the protests.[11]

References[edit]

External links[edit]