The “Ligovskiy Prospekt” metro station will be opened 4 days ahead of schedule. A special tour was held underground for journalists today. Right now specialists are in the most difficult part of their job. How will the new station look and what surprises it will have for vandals? Alexandra Lee found out.
Alexandra Lee, reporter: “The “Ligovskiy Prospekt” station was closed for renovations in January. This, by the way, is the first renovation since the station’s opening in 1991. It is believed that cracks appeared on the foundation of the station - after construction of this business center”
Alexey Michurin opened this station in 1991. He recalls how the project designer Eechko checked the angles of light bulbs – in a pedantic manner typical for architects. More than 20 years on, the light bulbs will be replaced by energy-saving ones.
Alexey Michurin, deputy head engineer of investment programs service of SUV “St. Petersburg Metro”: “Building a new station is, of course, more difficult. But the current work is made harder by the fact that it has to be done while trains are moving. Changing screws and drilling is dangerous – we have to avoid breakdowns”
The station inherited the 1990’s soviet constructivism design, partially iron and partially asbestos segments of escalators (or, in its other name, angled staircase). And problems. Even high standards of quality cannot rescue materials from aging.
Vasiliy Chertkov, head of construction at segment #3 “SMU-11 Metrostroy”: “This is, by the way, the only angled staircase where there are two sets of linings – or, as panel makers call them “encasements” – iron one and 36 rings of reinforced concrete”
But even 8-centimetre-thick “umbrellas” of reinforced concrete have been corroded by ground waters. These will be replaced by lighter and thinner ones, but more solid – made of anodized aluminum.
This is the most difficult yet the most compact stage of works. Replacing all overlaps – the station has a total of 72 “umbrellas” – would take several months. The angled staircase would be dismantled layer by layer – like a pie – to be stuffed with a new “filling”. Rusty bolts and screws will be literally cut out. But then any of these “umbrellas” could be replaced even at night time on a regular schedule – with no need to close down the station.
The station’s outlook will remain the same – its windows will remain authentic. But passengers will notice new turnstiles, better-working escalators, cleaner marble and granite, new watch booth, gear for the disabled persons. And vandals will be sad to see the new anti-vandal coating on the walls.
Alexandra Lee, reporter: “This station is not the most crowded. But passengers are eagerly anticipating its opening in December. The metro authorities are vowing to make it on time. The reality is that so far nothing has made such prospect impossible”