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Construction of Ring Road Hits Snag

Published: October 2, 2001 (Issue # 709)



  • The first section of the Ring Road, near Vyborgskoye Shosse to the north of the city.
    Photo: Sergey Grachev / The St. Petersburg Times

Construction of the ambitious $1 billion Ring Road around St. Petersburg could be delayed by a recent Supreme Court decision, project managers and Legislative Assembly lawmakers said on Monday.

The court ruled last week that the federal government had broken at least five federal laws, the Land Code and the Federal City Development Code with a decree it issued in March in order to speed up construction of the project.

The 154-kilometer Ring Road was begun in 1994 and is intended to reduce the volume of traffic in downtown streets by as much as 50 percent. The project includes a 1.8-kilometer suspension bridge across the Neva River and a flood-control dam in the Gulf of Finland.

The Supreme Court ruling came in response to a suit filed this summer by the Izhora Green Movement, a non-governmental organization based in the Frun zensky District, that alleged that the rights of area residents had been infringed by the project management, particularly by a government order this spring authorizing construction to proceed.

"[The project's managment] has completely ignored the interests, rights and opinions of the local population and local self-government bodies, including those of Metallostroi, with a population of 30,000; Ust-Izhora; and Pontonny," the Izhora Green Movement petition reads.

According to a project document entitled "The Structure of Traffic Flow on the Ring Road," traffic volume on this part of the road will increase by nine times by 2020, reaching an estimated 45,300 vehicles per day.

Vera Gordienko, head of the Izhora Green Movement, authored the petition, in which she complained that construction on the project began even before a plan had been approved or required state environmental and sanitation reports had been filed. She also noted that the views of local residents had not been taken into consideration.

"No financing has been allocated and no measures have been planned to reduce the impact of traffic noise and exhaust fumes along the section from St. Petersburg to Kirovsk, which is a clear violation of our constitutional right to a safe environment," Gordienko said.

Sergei Podkuiko, a spokesperson for the project management, confirmed that the documentation cited by Gordienko had not been prepared in advance.

"Government decree No. 305 authorized us to expedite construction in this way in order to complete the work more quickly," Podkuiko said on Monday. "The project plan will be approved on Oct. 15, which will eliminate one of the major reasons for the suit."

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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