Anatoly Kuzichev interviewed First Deputy Board Chairman of the Russian Highways State Company Sergei Kelbakh in the Vesti FM radio studio.
Anatoly Kuzichev interviewed First Deputy Board Chairman of the Russian highways State Company Sergei Kelbakh in the Vesti FM radio studio.
The work to build toll roads in Russia began in 1998. Today there is one toll section on the M-4 Don federal highway and several sections on regional roads. Prices vary from 1 to 17 rubles per kilometer and depend on the carrying capacity of vehicles. The most expensive domestic road is the Ostrov – Vyshgorodok highway in Pskov region. How will the network of Russian roads develop in the coming years? Anatoly Kuzichev interviewed First Deputy Board Chairman of the Russian Highways State Company Sergei Kelbakh in the Vesti FM radio studio.
Kuzichev: I am glad to welcome First Deputy Board Chairman of the Russian Highways State Company Sergei Kelbakh in the Vesti FM studio. Good afternoon and a happy New Year to you.
Kelbakh: Thanks, to you as well.
Kuzichev: Thanks a lot. The name of your company includes a word which generates various associations in the Russian mind. And it so happened (it is an historic myth which I shall not cite) that most associations are unpleasant. However as far as I understand a company like yours has to finally delete the image from our memory and our associations so that Russian roads become true highways rather than remain denominative. Is that true?
Kelbakh: Anyway our mission is, first and foremost, to create such a network of high-speed roads which will be safe and comfortable to drive. We are not in charge of all roads. We were created to build an autobahn network.
Kuzichev: They will most likely be toll highways, naturally. Judging by what you said the Russians are unaccustomed to that.
Kelbakh: Firstly, it is the world practice. And secondly, not every kilometer we build will definitely demand to pay toll. Only alternative road sections that bypass cities will be toll highways. Our state company will offer both toll and toll-free roads.
Kuzichev: It is a rare case when it is more interesting to dream up than sum up results. However let’s stick to the genre. Today we are summing up the results of the year. So let’s briefly sum up the results and then try and imagine what you said (dear friends, you cannot see the emotional gestures and the fiery eyes of Mr. Kelbakh, but I see them). Therefore in this case it is more interesting to dream up rather than sum up the results. As for 2011, which efforts did you take or better to say which excavator movements did you undertake to implement the miraculous project of a comfortable autobahn network?
Kelbakh: We took efforts and made a series of movements to produce efficient steps. We have been operating the first 52-kilometer toll section for a year. We accumulated certain statistic and experience and became aware of both positive and negative aspects and will work in future to avoid the repetition of the latter. This year we have declared and began to implement new approaches to road construction which are very important for Russia. We did it to get the wry smile off your face when you hear the word “highways” and to put an end to negative associations.