Vinci’s Moscow-St. Petersburg motorway opens to traffic

The first section of the M11 Moscow-Saint Petersburg motorway in Russia, a public-private partnership scheme half owned by France’s Vinci, has partially opened to traffic.

The first 43km section, which runs north from Moscow and serves Sheremetyevo International Airport, was inaugurated by Sergei Ivanov, Chief of the Presidential Administration of Russia, on 23 December.

The Russian state awarded the concession for the first section to NWCC, a 50-50 joint venture between Russian infrastructure company Mostotrest and Vinci Concessions, in 2008. 

The contract covers design, financing and construction of the section and its operation and maintenance for 30 years.

The Vinci-Mostotrest JV invested RUB 9.2 billion in the scheme.

Further funding came from a ruble bond issue of RUB 10 billion, a bank loan of RUB 29 billion, and a state subsidy of RUB 23 billion.

The ruble lost more than half its value against the dollar in 2014 as a result of plunging oil prices and Western sanctions.

The motorway is expected to ease traffic in a highly congested area, with some 140,000 cars per day, Vinci said. 

The progressive opening will be complete in the summer of 2015.

Vinci said design improvements led to a 30% reduction in surface area required compared to the original plan.

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