Interview with TV-Centre

07 August 2015

Alexei Frolov: Good afternoon, Mr Sobyanin.

Sergei Sobyanin : Good afternoon, Alexei.

Alexei Frolov: In recent years, the majority of motorways have been reconstructed and flyovers and interchanges have been built in Moscow. If we sum up the results, what awaits us this year? Or let’s even sum up the results of the five-year period: How many new roads have been built in Moscow?

Sergei Sobyanin: It is really easier to talk about the five-year period, as all of these projects, though many of them are local, make up Moscow’s transport system, the transport hub of our huge megalopolis.

As you know, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an instruction to implement this programme: the integrated development of the Moscow transport hub. This is a serious and complex issue, as in the past road construction projects in Moscow and in the Moscow Region were not compatible, so they were not efficient. In addition, commuter railway and metro construction projects were underdeveloped. So, a complex transport development programme was required. As regards road construction, it is part of the development of the Moscow transport hub, which also involves the Moscow Region authorities, the Federal Road Agency and Russian Railways. All agencies dealing with transport in Russia are involved in this project.

As for Moscow roads, about 400 kilometres of them have been built over five years. This is almost 2.5 times more than in the previous five years. Over 100 crossovers, flyovers and tunnels were built. It may seem that 400 kilometres is not that much, but road construction in Moscow is completely different from any other Russian region, as the city is full of utilities, residential buildings, industrial zones, roads and transport facilities. To build a new facility, even a small one, it is necessary to shift dozens of kilometres of utilities: gas, water, sewerage and electricity networks. This work requires joint efforts on the part of many other urban services. At the same time, urban construction projects involve not mediators, but actual, big road companies, which have high quality engineering and working staff and all the necessary equipment. This helped to reduce construction timeframes by almost 50 percent. This is very important given that this construction is taking place not in an open field, but in a big city.

Alexei Frolov : Now that we have mentioned five-year plans, if I understand correctly, since 2011, one of the priorities of the Moscow Government has been building social infrastructure facilities. If we recall the 2000s, developers used to build urban areas devoid of secondary schools, outpatient clinics and daycare centres. It seems such a situation is impossible now. How do you assess the number of social infrastructure projects in the last five years?

Sergei Sobyanin : Social infrastructure has always been built, although perhaps the number of these projects has been insufficient. At a certain point we had to focus on secondary schools and kindergartens, which were badly lacking in new micro-districts. That’s a fact. We have mostly resolved these problems although some remain. On the whole, we have built 500 social sector facilities: 250 kindergartens and secondary schools, about 70 healthcare facilities, culture and sports centres and so on. This has been a huge construction project and we have succeeded in attracting not only budget funds but also investor funds. For example, currently 30-40percent of preschools are being built with investor funding. This is very important for the timely and comprehensive development of an area, for building micro-districts with a complete infrastructure.

In addition, some unique projects, such as Spartak Stadium and ZIL Ice Arena, have been built in Moscow, Luzhniki is under reconstruction, we have begun to build a new Dynamo Stadium and so on. Unique, large world-class projects are being implemented in Moscow.

Alexei Frolov : New Moscow — when the newly incorporated territories became New Moscow in 2012 — opened a vast field for developers and building companies. How would you assess the existing level of New Moscow development, and what has been done recently?

Sergei Sobyanin : Since the very beginning, the Moscow Government’s policy has placed developers’ interests as a secondary priority, and the interests of Moscow and Muscovites at the top. Therefore we have mostly eliminated infill development and transferred most projects to industrial zones, where it is possible to develop vast areas comprehensively, create jobs and build residential housing, or we have transferred them to New Moscow. Currently, over half of all projects being commissioned are built in the newly incorporated territories or in industrial zones. We do not allow for building residential housing exclusively; we say that it is necessary to create not only residential districts but also jobs.

New Moscow is a good example: we have created about 80,000 jobs there. That is a comprehensive project, where Muscovites get housing, jobs and transport infrastructure, which we are making every effort to ensure is updated and does not lag behind, while developing new territories.

Alexei Frolov: Let’s get to the subject of construction. If we look at a map of the Moscow Metro, for the last few years more stations have been built than in the previous few decades. Are you planning to maintain this pace of construction in the near future? How many stations will open this year?

Sergei Sobyanin: Four stations will open this year, which will bring the number for the last few years to 18. At the same time, it should be kept in mind that about 30 more stations are currently under construction. This is a huge undertaking, one that is very difficult and that entails complex design works, clearing and compulsory purchase of plots of land and contacting a great number of experts who have become rare in many sectors of the economy. We bring together in Moscow metro engineering companies from all over the country and even from other CIS countries. This is very hard work but we are not going to stop, the construction will continue.

Alexei Frolov: Speaking of the Smaller Moscow Belt Railway, it is an ambitious project. When will Muscovites have an opportunity to use this SMBR?

Sergei Sobyanin: We are now standing on one of the SMBR construction sites. The huge construction project is continuing and it is not reduced only to track laying or laying power supply utilities and building power stations. It involves reorganisation of the entire transport infrastructure. Laying the third track requires widening the viaducts and flyovers, building new railway junctions and overcrossings, because the new railway does not fall within the clearance limits of the old viaducts. One of them is on the Zvenigorodskoye Motorway. All in all, there are 29 utilities of this kind; some can be easier to cope with, others are more difficult.

I hope that the major work will be completed by the summer of 2016, and in the autumn we expect to start passenger service, which will not only connect suburban trains, but will actually become the second interchange circuit for many metro stations.

Alexei Frolov: Well then, it’s time to look into the next five-year period.

Thank you, Mr. Sobyanin.

Sergei Sobyanin: Thank you. All the best.

 

Source: The website of the Mayor and the Government of Moscow

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