The new decree that the president issued this May calls for more good roads in the country. To a large extent the new decree expands on the programs launched in 2014-2017, but the goals set for the government this time are far more ambitious. Analytical Center expert Aleksey Safronov told the Rossiyskaya Gazeta about the measures that can help the country to build safe and quality roads.
Development of the Road Network Will Require Significant Effort from the Government
The priority project to build safe and quality roads that was launched last year is to be expanded under the new decree. Originally the project sought to repair roads in agglomerations but now it also includes the regional road network. The amount of work will increase 9-fold while the original goals of bringing at least 85% of the roads to the target state remains.
"This will require some serious effort from the government, both financially and organizationally," Mr. Safronov said. "The decree notes some ways that funds can be mobilized to repair the roads (such as public private partnership, directing the money collected through the excise on fuel and lubricants to the regional budgets and improving control over the road repairs funds) and to extend the service life of roads after repairs. The Plato toll collection system will probably be expanded and stricter fines will probably be introduced for violating weight restrictions."
Another priority is the comprehensive plan to modernize and expand the highway infrastructure which the government must approve by October 1st. This aims to develop international transport corridors and make the country more connected economically. It is expected that this should allow Russia to take a large part in the transit of cargoes between China and Europe and liquidate infrastructure constraints on exports, Mr. Safronov believes. All settlements regarded as economically promising are to be connected with the administrative centers of the federal subjects of Russia by roads that put no constraints on their transport accessibility while the administrative centers themselves are to be connected with each other by high speed rail and direct flights.
"The development of a network of controlled access highways is an even more ambitious goal than the expanded version of the safe quality roads project," Mr. Safronov stressed. Joint efforts of federal, regional authorities and private investors will be needed to achieve this goal. "The specific forms of this cooperation are yet to be decided but we can expect to see that it's going to be implemented under the updated state program to develop the transport system of Russia," the expert concluded.
Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Photo: from open sources