$19bln road construction project is in public spotlight in Russia

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$19bln road construction project is in public spotlight in Russia
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The cost of reconstruction of Dzhubga-Sochi highway amounting to 1.2 trillion rubles ($19 billion), making it the most expensive road in Russia, can be justified, a member of the State Duma committee on transport and construction Alexander Starovoitov said on Wednesday.

The reconstruction cost depends on a number of factors, such as the need to buy out plots of land and the price of construction materials. Earlier, the media reported that a concept of the reconstruction of Dzhubga-Sochi road (A147) was developed by The Federal Road Transport Agency (Rosavtodor) of Russia. Actually, the project assumes the construction of a new four-lane high-speed road with a bypass of settlements, instead of a two-lane mountain serpentine.

The highway goes along the Black Sea coast in the Krasnodar Territory of Russia. According to preliminary estimates, the project is worth 1.2 trillion rubles.

“We can say whether the declared cost is justified if we divide it by the number of kilometers and see through what area it goes — whether there is the need to drain marshes, whether there will be a mountainous terrain and whether tunnels will be constructed,” Mr. Starovoitov told RIA Novosti news agency.

He also noted that the cost of the road construction may depend on whether it will be necessary to purchase agricultural land that is privately owned.