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Russia freezes Lena bridge construction project till 2020

November 24, 2014, 18:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia’s Federal Motorway Agency says the project to ensure round-the-year transportation link between two parts of the city of Yakutsk would be launched in case motorway funds have enough money

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Lena River

Lena River

© ITAR-TASS/Roman Denisov

MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. A large-scale infrastructure project — the construction of a motorway bridge across the Lena River in Yakutia in northeastern Russia, a part of a logistics center project in Yakutsk — has been frozen till 2020, a top official from Russia’s Federal Motorway Agency told TASS on Monday.

The government will take a final decision on this project in 2020 or later, Grigory Prokuronov, the agency’s deputy director said. Earlier, the Lena bridge project was crossed out from the federal target program of the development of Russia’s transportation system in 2010-2020.

“I would not say it is a refusal. Orders concerning the bridge have been there for 12 years. We need it. I think that the bridge will be ultimately built, but the question is when. A decision on the project has been postponed to 2020,” Prokuronov said.

According to Prokuronov, the construction of this bridge across the Lena that is to ensure round-the-year transportation link between two parts of the city of Yakutsk is not among the government’s top priorities. In his words, the project would be launched in case motorway funds have enough money.

Earlier, Russia’s Transport Strategy till the year 2030 provided for the construction of a two-lane 3.1-kilometer-long motorway bridge across the Lena and access roads of more than 18 kilometers. The project was estimated at about two billion US dollars. However in May 2014, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the government suspended the Taman port and the Lena River bridge investment projects. Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said that Russia would have to cancel 112 billion rubles (2.4 billion US dollars) worth of investments in these two projects to reallocate the funds to the upgrade of infrastructure in Crimea. Moreover, he said, the bridge across the Lena was not needed due to light traffic.

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