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We are building St. Petersburg. Metrostroy

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There can be a soft landing and a hard one. Well, here’s the hard one. Every section of Metrostroy has a surveyor department. We say – we don’t have men and women, we have surveyors.

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The black stripe of the underground – St. Petersburg’s subway. We see it every day. But Galina Delvig doesn’t just see it – she also knows what exactly is there behind the walls of a train cart. 

Now we put it to a mark and determine it

She used to be a surveyor in Leningrad’s subway – now at St. Petersbrug’s. Galina Delvig is a woman of a unique profession. Specialist in building underground structures. Largely thanks to her knowledge of geodesics, geology and ecology trains are running underground. She’s a mining engineer, who ensures the accuracy of laying down hundreds of kilometers of sub-soil tunnels. 

Galina Delvig, surveyor at “Metrostroy”: When my daughter was little, she kept bragging to everyone – my mother builds metro. And when we went down the escalator at Chernaya Rechka, she asked me deliberately loud, so that bystanders would hear – mum, did you build this station?

She did. Chernaya Rechka, Leninskiy Prospekt, Ploshad Muzhestva, Ploshad Alexandra Nevskogo and many other stations too. Surveyors job, first of all, is measuring geometrical spaces underground. 

Galina Delvig, surveyor at “Metrostroy”: “We have to make sure that all blueprints are fulfilled. And that they are fulfilled with accuracy. This is the essence of a surveyors job” 

I came to work in 1971 and I was young and inexperienced. My first job was at mine number 213 by Ploshad Muzhestva. I was given a size-50 outfit, while I was size 42, and size 40 boots for my size 36. I felt embarrassed at first and wore red shoes, suede coat and jeans to work. But then we started laying down the tunnel and my shoes were killed. So, I was forced to wear size 40 boots and that outfit. Got used to it with time.”

We are now at the depth of 50, maybe 55 meters. This is considered as a medium depth. This tunnel leads to the surface – and the closer it gets to Yuzhnaya, the less deep it gets.

The future station – Prospekt Slavy – with exits to prospekt Slavy, Bukharestskaya ulits, Yuzhnoe Shosse and Alpiyskiy pereulok. The 5th – violet – line of St. Petersburg’s subway, Frunzensko-Primorskaya. It follows Mezhdunarodnaya. The trains will then go to Dunayskaya and Shushary. The construction of this radius will be completed by the end of 2017 – a year ahead of the initial plan. 

The two-track tunnel with 3790 meters length will connect Prospekt Slavy and Shushary stations. 

This is unique. For the first time on the post-Soviet space, there is a tunnel with two simultaneous train tracks. 

And the tempo of construction here is the highest ever for the city

Vadim Alexandrov, CEO “Metrostroy”: “It has never been done before. They used to work on 3 lines at the same time, now its 4”

Another line – green. Nevsko-Vasileostrovskaya. The construction of a Novokrestovskaya station by the stadium at Krestovskiy Island. It is expected to be opened ahead of the 2018 World Cup. There will be another station next to Novoskrestovskaya – Begovaya. However, construction workers do not see Novoskrestovskaya merely as a station for football fans. 

Vadim Alexandrov, CEO “Metrostroy”: “We do everything for the sake of transportation. But very little for the people – for them to walk out of a station and enjoy the beautiful view. We tend to build in densely populated areas, to solve transportation issues. But this one – it will let people take a nice break and enjoy. We might not be ready for many of those yet, there are far more pressing transport concerns. But I think this one is the station of the future. People will remember us kindly

And all this construction projects demand outmost precision from a surveyor. 

Galina Delvig, surveyor at “Metrostroy”: “I’ve grown to be totally calm about it – because that’s the way it is. The whole responsibility lies on a surveyor’s shoulders. One must know everything, because a surveyor will always be blamed if something goes wrong. 

 

There can be a soft landing and a hard one. Well, here’s the hard one

Every section of Metrostroy has a surveyor department. We say – we don’t have men and women, we have surveyors. 

The black stripe of the underground – St. Petersburg’s subway. We see it every day. But Galina Delvig doesn’t just see it – she also knows what exactly is there behind the walls of a train cart. 

Now we put it to a mark and determine it

She used to be a surveyor in Leningrad’s subway – now at St. Petersbrug’s. Galina Delvig is a woman of a unique profession. Specialist in building underground structures. Largely thanks to her knowledge of geodesics, geology and ecology trains are running underground. She’s a mining engineer, who ensures the accuracy of laying down hundreds of kilometers of sub-soil tunnels. 

Galina Delvig, surveyor at “Metrostroy”: When my daughter was little, she kept bragging to everyone – my mother builds metro. And when we went down the escalator at Chernaya Rechka, she asked me deliberately loud, so that bystanders would hear – mum, did you build this station?

She did. Chernaya Rechka, Leninskiy Prospekt, Ploshad Muzhestva, Ploshad Alexandra Nevskogo and many other stations too. Surveyors job, first of all, is measuring geometrical spaces underground. 

Galina Delvig, surveyor at “Metrostroy”: “We have to make sure that all blueprints are fulfilled. And that they are fulfilled with accuracy. This is the essence of a surveyors job” 

I came to work in 1971 and I was young and inexperienced. My first job was at mine number 213 by Ploshad Muzhestva. I was given a size-50 outfit, while I was size 42, and size 40 boots for my size 36. I felt embarrassed at first and wore red shoes, suede coat and jeans to work. But then we started laying down the tunnel and my shoes were killed. So, I was forced to wear size 40 boots and that outfit. Got used to it with time.”

We are now at the depth of 50, maybe 55 meters. This is considered as a medium depth. This tunnel leads to the surface – and the closer it gets to Yuzhnaya, the less deep it gets.

The future station – Prospekt Slavy – with exits to prospekt Slavy, Bukharestskaya ulits, Yuzhnoe Shosse and Alpiyskiy pereulok. The 5th – violet – line of St. Petersburg’s subway, Frunzensko-Primorskaya. It follows Mezhdunarodnaya. The trains will then go to Dunayskaya and Shushary. The construction of this radius will be completed by the end of 2017 – a year ahead of the initial plan. 

The two-track tunnel with 3790 meters length will connect Prospekt Slavy and Shushary stations. 

This is unique. For the first time on the post-Soviet space, there is a tunnel with two simultaneous train tracks. 

And the tempo of construction here is the highest ever for the city

Vadim Alexandrov, CEO “Metrostroy”: “It has never been done before. They used to work on 3 lines at the same time, now its 4”

Another line – green. Nevsko-Vasileostrovskaya. The construction of a Novokrestovskaya station by the stadium at Krestovskiy Island. It is expected to be opened ahead of the 2018 World Cup. There will be another station next to Novoskrestovskaya – Begovaya. However, construction workers do not see Novoskrestovskaya merely as a station for football fans. 

Vadim Alexandrov, CEO “Metrostroy”: “We do everything for the sake of transportation. But very little for the people – for them to walk out of a station and enjoy the beautiful view. We tend to build in densely populated areas, to solve transportation issues. But this one – it will let people take a nice break and enjoy. We might not be ready for many of those yet, there are far more pressing transport concerns. But I think this one is the station of the future. People will remember us kindly

And all this construction projects demand outmost precision from a surveyor. 

Galina Delvig, surveyor at “Metrostroy”: “I’ve grown to be totally calm about it – because that’s the way it is. The whole responsibility lies on a surveyor’s shoulders. One must know everything, because a surveyor will always be blamed if something goes wrong. 

Good morning!

This is our administrative household complex. Surveyors department is on the 2nd floor – that’s where we work

I have to produce answers to questions that will satisfy those asking. Whether its some inaccuracies in blueprints or estimations, im responsible for all of that.

We have a tool – electronic laser measurer. We call it a bazooka, cause it is shaped like one

Here’s my favorite one – a portable tachymeter. We generate coordinates and make measurements with it. Its indispensable and also very expensive. That’s why it has to be handled with care. 

Georgiy Ershov, stand-in surveyor: “She is a very experienced specialist and im happy to work alongside, learning from her. Besides, Metrostroy is a difficult job with a lot of specifics. One has to have a lot of resilience, calmness and cold-bloodedness working here. When I went through professional training, I never got such specifics of the job that im getting here, under supervision of Galina Alexandrovna. 

The job itself requires two sets of hands, as surveyors say. It is actually forbidden to make complicated measurements sole-handedly. 

Galina Delvig, surveyor at “Metrostroy”: First, a stand-in surveyor measures a space and puts a mark. And then another one necessarily checks it. If there’s a mistake, and it wasn’t detected – it’s not the fault of the person who made the measurement, but of that who didn’t double-check it. 

Sometimes even four sets of hands would not help though. When a surveyor is helpless in the face of a natural disaster. 

The tunnel between Lesnaya and Ploshad Muzhestva stations – the flooding catastrophe of 1995. It was impossible to prevent. 

But the flooding of 1995 was not the only one of its kind on this segment. The 1st one occurred when Ploshad Muzhestva station was still being constructed. 

Galina Delvig, surveyor at “Metrostroy”: There were many versions of why this happened. One of them – a surveyor’s mistake.

1974. Water flooded the tunnel

Galina Delvig, surveyor at “Metrostroy”: We proved that we were not to blame

But we had a feeling like we lost a close person

Galina Delvig, surveyor at “Metrostroy”: Trains started moving in 1975. That flooded segment was reinforced – with a 20 year warranty for that tunnel. It survived for 20 years. And then the incident of the 1990s happened. 

The result of the 1995 events was one of the long-haul construction projects. For the whole nine years, trains were not moving between Lesnaya and Ploshad Muzhestva stations. The tunnel was re-opened in 2004.

The escavation gear broke. Drills broke. But people have won after all, who fought the natural disaster and were never scared of it. We won! The flooding is no more!

Today, extreme situations like that flooding are almost entirely ruled out in constructing the subway. 

Vadim Alexandrov, CEO “Metrostroy”: Back then, we artificially froze the soil. Drilled holes and overcame it. As a result, a frozen contour was created there – which eventually burst. Today we are not afraid of that. We are drilling through watery soil, through boulders, through sand. We are able to operate with any types of soil. That’s why such accidents can’t happen”

Meanwhile, works are not only held underneath the Neva River, but also underneath the Gulf of Finland. That is how the two stations – Novokrestovskaya and Begovaya will be connected.

Vadim Alexandrov, CEO “Metrostroy”: We still have 6 kilometers of a tunnel to drill and two stations to build. And we only have 2,5 years left. This deadline is surreal. Whenever I mention this to specialists from other cities, they think I’m mad. But I tell them – we are subway builders. And subway builders have to build!

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