9/7 Tass 66
MOSCOW, July 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin demanded that contracts be severed with the contractors that build bad roads in the city.
He inspected the quality of road construction in the northwest of Moscow on Saturday, July 9.
“Look at this: only holes and bumps,” he retorted. “The asphalt is like a washboard. What are they blowing the money? Get them redo it,” Sobyanin said, addressing the prefect of the North-Western District of Moscow, Viktor Damurchiyev.
The mayor also appeared to be displeased by how the construction of parking places near subway stations is proceeding.
When told that construction work was underway only at two out of seven subway stations in the district, Sobyanin said, “That’s not enough at all. You should go with road services, transport companies and the subway and look for places. I don’t believe there is no place.”
Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov, who is responsible for housing and utilities, said about 14 billion roubles had been allocated for local street improvements in the city in 2011. “These include the widening of roads, right-hand and left-hand turns, and certainly parking places,” he said.
Sobyanin said earlier that the city needed large-scale infrastructure construction, prompt measures to restore order on the roads, and development of mass transit.
In his opinion, “It is necessary to concentrate financial resources in order to intensify large-scale infrastructure construction.”
In addition, it will be necessary to “take urgent measures in order to influence the transport situation through necessary surgical decisions, and try to improve it as quickly as possible”, he said.
Sobyanin also called for “developing public transport most seriously”.
“Unfortunately, it has used up all of its resources,” he said.
However Moscow’s chief architect Alexander Kuzmin said it was a mistake to try to catch up with the growing number of automobiles in the city by building new roads.
“You probably know where we were wrong. We tried to catch up with the growing automobilisation by building new roads for a long time,” he said. “We succeeded at a certain point”, but then “we could no longer catch up with the continuing car boom just by building” roads, he said.
Road construction is one of the serious problems not only in Moscow but in the rest of Russia as well.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier that it would take some time to draft and coordinate new approaches to road construction in Russia.
He said that road construction budgets were inflated and the term of road operation was beneath criticism.
The road industry is facing a number of serious problems. “First of all, it’s insufficient repairs of existing roads, which adversely affects traffic and safety,” Putin said. “Once we save on timely repairs, we then pay two or even three times more to restore a dilapidated road.”
This is true of federal and regional roads alike, he added.
“Second, problems related to the economically justified cost and quality of road construction have not been solved so far. The budgets are obviously inflated, and the term of road operation is beneath criticism. Moreover, I have travelled by new roads myself, but they already need repairs,” Putin said.
“We have no mechanisms that would guarantee stable and predictable funding of road construction even though it is obvious that successful implementation of such costly projects is impossible if the amount of funding can change at any moment,” he said.
In 2009, more than 3,000 kilometres of federal and regional roads were built, an increase of 30 percent from 2008.
The Transport Ministry has created its own leasing company and provided 10 billion roubles as a contribution to its authorised capital. The company will buy domestically-produced automobiles for road construction.
Russia will build about 1,900 kilometres of paid and high-speed roads by 2015 at the first stage of the development of a network of roads in the country.
According to the Transport Ministry, about 16,000 kilometres of roads were built and modernised in Russia in 2002-2007, including 2,000 kilometres of federal roads.
Twenty-two thousand federal and 72,000 regional roads were repaired.
The state-owned company Russian Automobile Roads plans to raise 1,000 billion roubles by 2015 for the construction of motor roads.