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Vladimir Putin approves Russia’s next mega infrastructure project, a $1.3bn bridge across river Lena

By The Siberian Times reporter
18 November 2019

Vital link uniting east and west of the country will realise a long-held dream.

The current budget for the Lena bridge (shown here on artistic impressions) is 83 billion roubles or $1.3 billion

A three kilometre car bridge over the Lena River might be ready by 2025 after Vladimir Putin’s decisive ‘the situation matured to implementation’ resolution on the draft project, reported Kommersant newspaper.

This short phrase potentially means the end of decades-long waiting for a permanent link connecting two shores of Lena and stamping Russia’s diamond capital of Yakutsk firmly on the country’s transport map. 

The bridge would also provide a vital shortcut through Eastern Siberia to the ports of the Sea of Okhotsk via the transport corridor from Irkutsk to Magadan. 

Vladimir Putin approves Russia’s next mega infrastructure project, a $1.3 billion bridge across Lena  
Artistic impression of the future cable-stayed bridge 


The project presents major engineering challenges since the bridge must be constructed on permafrost. 

The current budget for the Lena bridge is 83 billion roubles or $1.3 billion. 

The plan is to make it toll free for cars with other vehicles needing to pay.

54 billion roubles on the permafrost bridge will come from state and republican budgets; nearly 29 billion roubles are to be provided by a private investor. 

Currently Yakutsk has no year-round land transport links connecting it to Russia’s system of federal automobile routes, with no stable communication for 152 days a year. 

Vladimir Putin approves Russia’s next mega infrastructure project, a $1.3 billion bridge across Lena  


Vladimir Putin approves Russia’s next mega infrastructure project, a $1.3 billion bridge across Lena  


Vladimir Putin approves Russia’s next mega infrastructure project, a $1.3 billion bridge across Lena  


Vladimir Putin approves Russia’s next mega infrastructure project, a $1.3 billion bridge across Lena  


Vladimir Putin approves Russia’s next mega infrastructure project, a $1.3 billion bridge across Lena  
Ice roads of Yakutia. Pictures: The Siberian Times


Getting to and fromYakutsk - the world’s coldest city - on land in winter means driving on the hard frozen river; when ice thaws there are slow and ineffective ferries connecting two shores. 

‘A bridge across Lena is a dream of many generation of Yakut people, of Russian people because it is not just a link between right and left banks but a symbol of unifying West and East of the country; I would say is it a bridge into the future’, the head of Yakutia Aisen Nikolayev told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper in 2018. 

The cable-stayed bridge will have two lanes according to the current draft with the forecast traffic in the first years of operation over 1.5 million cars. 

Every fifth vehicle will be a truck, with the number of cargo vehicles doubling by 2043. 

The Lena bridge should significantly reduce the annual cost of the so-called ‘Northern Delivery’ - when supplies are flown or shipped by rivers to the most remote corners of Yakutia - by four billion roubles ($62 million USD).

https://siberiantimes.com/other/others/features/merry-christmas-from-the-six-santas-of-siberia/the-worlds-most-amazing-highways-along-frozen-siberian-rivers/
Vladimir Putin approves Russia’s next mega infrastructure project, a $1.3 billion bridge across Lena. Picture: Governmnet of Yakutia


The bridge will give the first permanent crossing from Yakutsk to the settlement of Nizhny Bestyakh on the opposite bank of the Lena River. 

Nizhny Bestyakh is the last station on the recently opened AYAM railway, linking to the Trans-Siberian wail route, and it also connects to three federal highways - 'Viluy', 'Kolyma' and 'Lena', as well as several regional routes.  

However, the decision for a vehicle-only bridge is in contrast to the new link to Crimea which also accommodates rail.

The go-ahead is bound to lead to demands for a train link to follow, potentially opening up the prospect of a link from the Trans-Siberian railway to a line extending to Chukotka and perhaps one day to Alaska, so linking to the North American network. 

Comments (4)

For many years I’ve followed news from Siberia and particularly Yakutia. As a result I’ve grown to admire its people and cultures. Wonderful to hear the bridge, a distant vision for so many decades, will now be built! Congratulations to all who brought this about. All the more reason to visit.
David, San Diego, CA
20/11/2019 11:01
5
0
I support such projects, it will be easier for people to live
Andrew, Poland
20/11/2019 02:52
3
0
Congratulations! I hope I live long enough to drive from N. America to Moscow over the Siberian bridge linking to Alaska.
Eleni Jousma, US
19/11/2019 07:18
7
0
good project indeed! and sorely needed, judging from the other photos. SibTimes stay on it and tell us in about 10 years time, if we are still around, about the grand opening. And how much the project REALLY did cost. 83 billion rubles was the plan...
MORAK Benedikjt, Moscow
19/11/2019 05:28
4
0
1

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