Russian Deputy Transport Minister Ilya Slyunyaev yesterday announced at a press conference that in 2002, USD 150 million from a European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) loan and about USD 142 million from the Russian budget have been allocated for the construction of the St. Petersburg ring road. According to Slyunyaev, the EBRD will allocate a further USD 79 million to the ring road project in 2003.
Slyunyaev also announced that, according to the approved project, the construction of the road will cost approximately USD 1.4 billion, including USD 994 million for the first stage. Work carried out by January 1, 2002 cost USD 205 million.
The deputy minister stressed that thanks to the rationalization of construction work, the cost for 2002 had been reduced by about USD 1 million. At the current moment all questions of an engineering and technical nature and organizational nature have been resolved; tenders have been held for contracts; government contracts have been signed; and work has begun. According to the Russian Roads Agency, 2002 will see the opening of slip roads on the Gorskaya Station-Priozersk Highway section of the ring road. This section is important for traffic independently of the rest of the ring road. Slyunyaev also said that the Transport Ministry is not planning to introduce tolls on the western half of the ring road.