Exclusive interview with the governor of St. Petersburg on the finishing construction of the central segment of the Western speed diameter.
Yuriy Zinchuk, host: “We begin with an exclusive interview which we filmed a few days ago and which will help us understand what city we will be living in soon. No, not in ten or five years, but now. Literally, in a month. The thing is - it is historically been so that for more than 300 years St. Petersburg had no opportunity to develop like a classic big city. We have always been separated by natural obstacles. The water. The Gulf of Finland. Such was Peter the Great's design. And nothing you can do. The north has always been separated from the south. And even after the construction of the beltway, little has changed. You still have to drive to Kronschtadt, then go into the tunnel, and exit by the Oranienbaum. It's a long way. But now we have a historic chance to change this reality created by nature. St. Petersburg has overcome this separation by water. We are becoming an organically closed off big city, in terms of transport logistics. It is a landmark event. Here, take a look. This is one of the popular geolocation apps. The blue arrow marks the spot where we conducted this interview. It turns out that we filmed it in the middle of the Gulf. Of course, it wasn’t so. It's just that the central part of the Western Speed Diameter has not yet been placed on maps. They just cannot keep up with the changes in St. Petersburg.
Georgiy Poltavchenko, governor of St. Petersburg: “Europe is there. And here is the window.
Yuriy Zinchuk, host: “It was Peter the Great who said “we are destined to make a window into Europe here”. I think this project is one of the dreams of our founding father being realized.
Georgiy Poltavchenko, governor of St. Petersburg: “It is a grandiose site, a grandiose construction. I would like to remind that in 2012 I signed all the needed financial documents to launch the construction of the central segment of the WSD, at St. Petersburg's international economic forum. Back then, nobody thought that there would be sanctions, decreasing oil prices, tough relations with Turkey and isolation - a whole set of problems. And we passed this period in almost exactly the same timeframe as we had expected. We are finishing the construction of the central segment and that means the whole of the WSD. When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, it delayed the opening of the Northern segment by almost 5 years. This time we did not lose any time. It speaks volumes - St. Petersburg has been stable in its development even during this hard time. And, of course, it is a unique work of engineers.
This is the exit to the Vasilievskiy Island, onto Makarova embankment. The works are in the finishing stage.
Yuriy Zinchuk, host: “I can imagine how many residents of the island breathe a sigh of relief looking at that! Do you know the approximate time when it will be launched?
Georgiy Poltavchenko, governor of St. Petersburg: “2018
Yuriy Zinchuk, host: “Vasilievskiy?”
Georgiy Poltavchenko, governor of St. Petersburg: “Yes”
Yuriy Zinchuk, host: “What about the central part of the W SD?
Georgiy Poltavchenko, governor of St. Petersburg: “I think in November.
Yuriy Zinchuk, host: “Have you figured out the toll yet?”
Georgiy Poltavchenko, governor of St. Petersburg: “It is too early to tell. We finish the construction, open it to traffic - and then will make a decision.
Yuriy Zinchuk, host: “I will tell you as an average resident of St. Petersburg. I drive through Mitrofanyevskoe onto the WSD, pay 45 rules and get to Pulkovo quickly”
Georgiy Poltavchenko, governor of St. Petersburg: “There is an alternative - either drive for 15 minutes from Primorskiy to Kirovskiy or through the city center. I think that when the central segment is be opened, the number of cars using the WSD will increase from 30 to 100%. Here, by the way, we have a unique system of de-icing, which was developed here in St. Petersburg. It is applied to both the tarmac and the metal constructions holding the highway. You understand it well - the crazy weather conditions. Everything is well thought-of, every single detail. A unique system.
This is the tunnel under Smolenka. And this is Vasilievskiy Island. Those are alleviated lands. The riverbed is just above us. On the sides of this tunnel, we are planning a pedestrian zone, so that people could walk there and do sports.
According to specialists’ estimations, 4000 cars per hour will be driving from the island onto WSD. And hundred percent of all heavy transport. We are planning at least three new additions - 2 in Primorskiy, next to Novoe Shosse and Shuvalovskiy prospekt. And here, by the Shkiperskiy Protok. We will have to extend Moskovskaya embankment and Korablestroiteley. After 2018, we’ll open those”