Recent road inftastructure improvements

Development, Sochi News December 13th, 2009

Network of roads in the Olympic capital is 5 to 6 times smaller than Russian average – only 0.7 km per 1 sq km of territory. And only 25% of 2400 km or roads comply with modern safety requirements.
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Minister of Transportation of Russia

* Construction of the road parallel to the main – and the only – road through Sochi’s center – the Kurortny Avenue – has just been started. It is not the service road around the city. This road is one of the “Olympic” projects. The road will be 17 km long, 6 tunnels are planned (digging of the first starts in January), and total cost just under $1 bln. Estimated completion – year 2013.

* You can now enter center part of Adler from round-about near the rail-road crossing… under the rail-road! The railroad has been closed, at least for now.

This area has been under heavy construction since last summer, giving a lot of headache to local residents. But I hear some good feedback on this recent change from  my friends.

* Joint Transportation Management Center Will Be Established in Sochi (source)

“The new structure will be formed on a basis of the Olympic Transport Board, will reflect the current road situation in real time and alert Sochi inhabitants to the existence and whereabouts of traffic jams.”

The information about traffic conditions has long been available to the drivers in some larger cities in Russia, like Moscow and St.-Petersnurg, via Yandex Traffic online & mobile services. Now similar service comes to Sochi, but it will only be useful if the road network will greatly increase.

Parts of highway connecting Moscow and Sochi to become commercial

Development, Russia November 2nd, 2009

There are a few things you need to know in order to understand importance of this piece of news:

  • Main highway connecting Sochi to Moscow (or Moscow to Sochi, if you like) is federal highway M-4, aka «Don» highway
  • «There are only two problems in Russia: fools and roads» – this common Russian saying should tell you something about the overall state of roads in Russia
  • Recently, a law regulating pay roads in Russia has been passed, and State corporation established with intent to improve federal roads.

The «Don» highway crosses several regions in Russia: somewhere road pavement is good, somewhere it’s ok, but in Voronezh and Rostov regions it’s pretty bad. It’s so bad, in fact, that the part of the highway going through Rostov region is considered one of the most dangerous roads in the country (I’ll talk about this a little in one of the next posts). Several years ago, driving from St.-Petersburg to Sochi we witnessed five accidents with fatalities, four of which were on «Don», and all four between Voronezh and Rostov-on-Don. That’s only within two days. The latest trip I took on that road was this summer, in August, and it wasn’t that bad this time (no fatal accidents around, anyways), still the road is very bad in some regions.

One thing always surprises me on these trips, though, is Read the rest of this entry »

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