25 december 2009

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin opens a bypass allowing transit and urban traffic to circumvent the centre of Sochi


The roundabout road, 17.1 kilometres long, will cater for all intercity vehicles bound for Adler, Krasnaya Polyana and Abkhazia.

The road runs parallel to the M-27 federal highway from Dzhubga to Sochi, 3-5 km farther from the city centre. The section opened today is 8.9 km long. Its design began in 1978, and design documents were updated at the beginning of 2008 to bring it up to date with the latest safety and tunnel construction standards. The longest tunnel, which connects Plastunskaya Street and the Mamaika neighbourhood, is 2.62 km long and is the third-longest tunnel in Russia. It is 10.8 metres wide and 5.2 metres high. Temperature, air transparency and the concentration of carbon dioxide are permanently monitored. The tunnel is equipped with 255 surveillance cameras, as well as foam, water and gas fire extinguishers.

Vladimir Putin talked to road builders.

"Despite its unique nature, this 17 kilometre bypass has been an ill-fated project. It was launched in 1989, suspended in 1995 due to a lack of funds, and was revived in 2004. The first stage is over now, at last," he said.

The road is a sequence of tunnels and flyovers. That is what makes it unique. "It is a part of the Olympic construction and a wonderful New Year gift to the city," Mr Putin said.

He shook hands with construction workers and asked whether they liked what they had built, which they answered with a friendly, resounding "yes".