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Long-awaited bridge across Pur River opened in Yakutia

The bridge will favor smooth year-round communication with the mainland for settlements, where about 20,000 people live

MOSCOW, October 23. /TASS/. The long-awaited bridge across the Pur River in Yakutia was opened on October 16. The bridge was built within two years, Governor Dmitry Artukhov said at the opening ceremony.

The bridge across the Pur River will favor smooth year-round communication with the mainland for settlements in Urengoi, Tazovsky and Krasnoselkupsky Districts, where about 20,000 people live. It is a socially important facility. The Transneft Company and Gazprombank have been parties to a six-party agreement to support the project.

"We have set a task to have the bridge built, though everything seemed to be very problematic," Gazprombank’s Executive Vice President Pavel Brusser said. "Anyway, after only two years we are opening the bridge. This is an example of how we set tasks and implement them." The bank will continue the cooperation with the region in other projects, he added.

The regional government’s press service told TASS the bridge is very important for development of the eastern districts, including the Tazovskaya Bay’s coastal area. The bridge gives a reliable access to 50 oil and gas fields. "Before the bridge was built, there was a fee-based pontoon crossing," the press service said. "Twice a year, the service was disrupted, and every time traffic stopped for as long as a month."

The new bridge is 1,023 meters long, the length with road bases is almost 2,700 meters. Each span is 105 meters. The bridge’s name - Purovsky - was chosen in voting among Yamal’s residents.

Though the bridge is first of all for vehicles, the first to cross it were more than 100 local athletes. They ran a distance of 1,000 meters - the length of the bridge without road bases.

Without budget funds

The Purovsky Bridge is the only bridge in Russia, which has been built without investments from budgets. The construction was financed by a private investor, the regional government’s press service told TASS. The investor will reimburse the money by charging commercial vehicles for using the bridge. At the same time, the local residents will cross the bridge for free - this guarantee has been reflected in the federal legislation.

The fee for trucks and other commercial vehicles is lower than the fees for the former pontoon crossing. A truck under 12 tonnes paid 12,000 rubles at the pontoon ($156), while the fee to cross the bridge is about 3,000 rubles ($39).

The bridge has been built twice ahead of the plan, the press service said, adding the construction’s active phase begun in winter, 2019.

"They made 11 piers, and laid the deck slabs - more than 5,800 tonnes of metal structures. For both road bases they used more than 270,000 cubic meters of sand," the press service said. "The construction employed 1,500 people."

Budget surplus for social projects

The Purovsky Bridge’s cost is 10 billion rubles ($130 million). Since the construction was financed by private investors, the region did not have to spend money from the budget, and it will use it for development of Yamal’s social facilities. "The Purovsky Bridge’s cost is 10 billion rubles. We have allocated this money for development of social programs, namely for upgrade of educational institutions and for construction of 30 kindergartens," the region’s First Deputy Governor Alexander Kalinin said.

The allocated money will be used also to service and build roads, he added. In addition to that, from the economic point of view the bridge is favorable for Yamal’s eastern districts.

"With the Purovsky Bridge we shall develop differently the economy in the region’s eastern districts, as now we have a permanent access to 50 fields for 20 oil and gas companies. We speak about a large-scale development of the Tazovskaya Guba (Taz Bay), which means major resources for this region and for the country," he said. "Besides, thousands of people living in Purovsky, Tazovsky and Krasnoselkupsky Districts may drop forever making stock of food and materials to live through the times the pontoon crossing is closed, they may forget problems with getting healthcare services."

The concession agreement’s term is 15 years, he said. After the term, in 2033, crossing the bridge will be free for all.

About the region

The Yamalo-Nenets Region was established in 1930. Its territory is mostly north of the Arctic Circle, and the other part is on the slope of the Urals ridge. The climate is cold. Some areas have the permafrost. The cold Kara Sea is nearby. Winters continue for up to eight months (while in the Arctic and sub-Arctic zones they are not longer than 68 days).