YEKATERINBURG, November 29 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during his working visit to the Sverdlovsk Region attended the ceremony of the opening of a new metro station in Yekaterinburg.
The president saw the entrance hall of the Botanicheskaya station, the construction of which took more than four years. He went down to the underground station where he talked with metro builders and then took a short underground trip.
Botanicheskaya is the last station on the line linking the northern Uralmash district with the botanical garden district in the south of the city. The area near the botanical garden is densely built up. There are a lot of multistoried apartment buildings, and so, the transport problem is particularly acute there. The subway line is expected to ease it.
The city's metro carries 150,000-160,000 people a day, or about 38 million a year. After the opening of the new station, the flow of passengers will increase by a third.
The station is technically equiped for disabled people -- there are elevators, lifting platforms and special design elements to help people who have eyesight problems.
Botanicheskaya was planned to be opened together with another station --Chkalovskaya, but the escalator-producing plant failed to fulfill the order in time, and the opening of the station is postponed until next March.
According to deputy city administration head Vladimir Kritsky, who is in charge of construction, the total cost of the two stations and the 4.2-km line amounted to rbls 16 billion, that is over 3.8 bln a kilometre. He noted it was lower than the subway construction cost in Moscow, where it reaches 5.5 bln. The cost was reduced due to original design and engineering decisions, he said.
A project is developed to continue the subway construction in Yekaterinburg. The city needs rbls 30 bln to build three stations on a new line in five years. However, the finance issue is not settled yet, as there are no such funds in the municipal and regional budgets.