Geopolitical advantage: Russian roads will become safer and better

Russian roads are getting safer and better, as the construction of new highways is ahead of schedule, as reported to the Prime mister Mikhail Mishustin on August 11. Apart from the national project “Safe and quality roads” in June the administration approved another program for road construction. Everything looks good on paper but what about reality?

New program is a large-scale and systematic plan.

For this purpose, significant funds have been allocated: 13.2 trillion rubles, namely 5.4 trillion from federal budget and more than 7 trillion from regional budgets. The objective is to ensure the normative consistency 85% of Russian roads by the end of 2027.

-  In June the government approved the 5-year program of the road construction and almost its every basic indicator set up by the President has to be tackled ahead of the schedule. How do you intend to achieve that? – asked Mikhail Mishustin

We developed a control network having assembled 138 000 km of highways, 64 of which are federal ones, and 74 000 regional motorways. Within this 5-year program we build over 2 km of roads per day and repair 60 km per day – assured Roman Novikov, the Head of “Rosavtodor”.

15-kilometer road site Р217 “Kavkaz” around Vladikavkaz will be put into operation by the end of 2024. As of this moment the site is subject to groundwork and construction of the road base. The capital of the republic is only 26 km far from the state border between Russia and Georgia. Transit vehicle passageis an essential problem for the city.

- This part will form a branch of transportation envelope that connects Russian Federation with Georgia, as well as to ensure road connection with Armenia. Of course, we will relieve the street and road network of Vladikavkaz that is currently subject to the entire flow of transit transport that affects ecology, noise level and peoples’ life quality, – confirmed Vitaliy Gulakov, anengineer of the Federal government agency for public roads “Kavkaz” of the Federal road agency.

Between 2017 and 2021 the number of cars in Russia increased by 4 million. The number of cars increased all over the country from 56.6 million up to 60 million in 2021. The traffic intensity surged one and a half times. However, the death rate is 10% less this year if compared with last year figures. Builders expand roads and separate roadways to avoid collisions. For 5 years the number of 4-lane roads is expected to increase by more than 2 times.

This program sets forth that 3 000 km of highways shall undergo major overhaul and expand the number of lanes from 2 to 4.

The lanes of the federal highway “Skandinavia” will be expanded from 2 to 6 lanes and connect Saint Petersburg with Vyborg up to the border with Finland. A large-scale reconstruction goes on for the highway A181 despite the external factors, and ahead of the schedule. The upgrade is expected to be fully completed by 2030.

Could these plans be disturbed by anti-Russian sanctions? The road engineers assure that these sanctions are barely efficient.

- As of this moment it is essential to ensure redundancy related to services, construction materials and Russian resources. This would be an additional support of the entire country’s economy. How do you adapt your activity to external sanctions, for instance in terms of hardware, materials and resources? – ask Mishustin.

-   Our activity is hardly dependable from import as of this moment, especially in terms of building materials. We arranged it in the proper way as early as we constructed the Crimean bridge: it has not a single purchased bolt. We believe that this 3-year program will remain intact. We are definitely well supplied with machinery, replaceable parts, including those provided within parallel import – responds the head of “Rosavtodor”.

Bitumen and road paver are the two pillars of the road construction. Both of them are produced in Russia. Production capacities can be upgraded. Production of the road construction machinery in Bryansk corresponds to the highest requirement. We assemble road pavers, porthole patching machines and graders here.

- In our machines we used components produced in Germany, especially for tracked road pavers. Currently these companies completely stopped to deliver their products to Russia. This is why we work hard on launching the manufacturing of the equivalent components in Russia at our premises – emphasized the CEO of “Irmash” Sergey Luzhezkiy.

Within this 5-year program we intend to commercialize two transportation corridors.

The “West-East” road is more than 9.000 km long and “North-South” is more than 4.000 km long. In fact, these two are international transportation roadways with huge logistic potential. Therefore, the roads are considered not only as an internal need but also as a powerful geopolitical advantage.