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New turn

ROADS WHICH WE CHOOSE

In post-crisis Russia, this is a real boom in road construction. How long?

A new "achievement" of economic reform - the line in the budget "for the construction of roads" has been eliminated.

Igor MORGARETTO

ROADS AS A WAY TO PROSPERITY

We are still strange people. At the beginning of the XXI century, we are not ashamed of the fact that 39 thousand settlements of the country (or more than 15 million of its citizens!) Due to the lack of paved roads are cut off from the mainland every spring and autumn, which, in comparison with Western countries, is wasted one third more fuel, that the cost of transportation is one and a half times more expensive, and a third of the harvested crop is destroyed during transportation …

Moreover, one can be surprised at another. In the crisis of 1998, the pace of road construction increased 4 times compared to 1997, and in 1999, another four times (!). Last year, 5485 km of new public roads were commissioned (107% of the 1998 level), 32, 280 linear meters of bridges (129% of the 1998 level). Opened for motorway traffic in the Moscow Region, Krasnodar Territory, in the Northwest Region, Primorye, modern bridges over the Amur River in the Khabarovsk Territory, over the Oka River near Kashira, and the overpass in Vidnoye (Moscow Region) were put into operation.

Much more ambitious plans for the coming decade. The 21st Century Roads program aims to “untie” all major transport hubs in the country (and there are more than two dozen), extend international transport corridors from east to west and north to south, and provide access to all major ports at a modern level, transport nodes and terminals. In general, Russia can become a full-fledged and full-fledged participant in the international automobile movement with a huge gain for citizens and the budget of the country.

So what is the long-awaited transport boom? According to experts, our country, its national economy is now on a spiral, well-known in the world: "more cars (and their number increases by 10% annually) - more roads - development and development of territories - economic growth." At the same time, the task of the state in market conditions is not to interfere. By the way, 70% of the funds for road construction are expenses for machinery, equipment, materials. This means that a lot of “road” interest is also in the growth of metallurgy, mechanical engineering, and the production of building materials. It is no accident around the world that road construction plays an exclusive role in the development of the economy. But then in the world. And what will happen in Russia?

ROADS AS A GUARANTEE OF THE CONSTITUTION

Who will argue: road construction is not a cheap job, especially in a country that stretches from west to east for 11 time zones. Even to find out how much 1 km of the road really costs is difficult, and by no means because this figure is hidden from the public.

“A kilometer of the 1st class highway (meeting European requirements) can be built with us for 7 million rubles, and for 40 (in Europe from 1 to 3 million dollars - I. M.), ” says the First Deputy General Director Rosavtodora Nikolai Seregin. - It all depends on so many reasons. One kilometer is not like the other: there is a swamp through which to build a bridge, then a mountain and a tunnel needs to be led, then a settlement, the inhabitants of which must be resettled. Just the other day, we were considering a project to expand the Yaroslavl highway in the Korolev area, where about 400 families fall under resettlement. For them, we must build new homes or give compensation. So the road is a pleasure oh so expensive.

Today, neither the poor regions nor the wealthy Rosavtodor are able to pull a serious highway alone.

“Previously, many governors refused to invest in federal construction projects - they say, why do we need it, let Moscow have a headache, ” Nikolai Seregin continues. - Now everyone has become smarter and understand: the population doesn’t care whose money went to build the bridge, most importantly, there is a bridge - good power, no bridge - bad. By the way, in recent years there has not been a single candidate for governor in Russia, in the election program of which there would be no clause on the construction of new roads.

Today it has become commonplace when money is used for the construction of large road facilities from both the federal and local budgets. And here, if you look more broadly, the benefit is not just economic: a bridge built with common money - this is federalism in action. Pragmatic Americans - they generally like to repeat that roads are a guarantee of the Constitution. We are talking not only about the freedom of movement of any citizen, which is enshrined in the corresponding article of the Constitution (both ours and the United States), but also about freedom of economic choice, which is impossible without roads, and also about guarantees for the federal structure of the country. If sovereign states (regions, republics, provinces) are not connected by roads and common economic interests, then why do they need each other? It just seems that not everyone understands this simple and wise truth in their native country.

ROADS OR GUNS?

The current system of organization of road construction in the country is far from ideal. Confusion, inconsistency and other “not” are enough for her. And, probably, they steal pretty much here - however, in any construction they will always steal and steal everywhere. But here, in Russia … The fact that the road industry was on the verge of collapse several years ago is evidenced by the results of an audit conducted by the Main Control Directorate of the President of the Russian Federation in 1996. She revealed that the Ministry of Transport of Russia (then the road service was a department of the ministry) “unsatisfactorily organized the planning, financing and execution of work, which often led to the ineffective use of the road fund and increased construction time”. Money did not reach the territory and specific objects at all, it disappeared along with numerous one-day intermediary firms. The final verification document, by the way, was signed by the then head of the GKU Vladimir Putin and his deputy. Vyacheslav Ivanov. After that, road construction was removed from the Ministry and, following the example of the USA, Canada and other developed countries, they created the Federal Road Service (later it was renamed the Russian Road Agency).

Rosavtodor became the state executive body for managing funds of road funds, acted in accordance with the law “On Road Funds of the Russian Federation” and, it seems, managed to change the situation in the industry (see above). And the violations? They too, of course, were, and a magazine wrote about them. Let's say that in 1998 the RDA apparatus exceeded the budget for its own maintenance by 4 million rubles. But these are “flowers”.

According to the law "On Road Funds" "… the funds of the Federal Road Fund of the Russian Federation and territorial road funds have a special purpose and are not subject to withdrawal or expenditure for needs not related to the maintenance and development of roads" (Article 1.2). But "road money" is one of the few "living" in the budget, and, of course, the authorities are constantly encroaching on them in order to patch up numerous "holes". In 1999, the government took 1 billion rubles from the fund. for the payment of pensions, 5.5 billion - for the needs of the Ministry of Emergencies (and where they went - to the Chechen war or for other purposes - go and guess!). In 2000, another 5.5 billion was ordered to be transferred to the Ministry of Defense for the purchase of weapons. But, as it turned out, this is not enough.

Last fall, the then Minister of Finance Mikhail Kasyanov, speaking in the Duma, announced the need to merge road funds with the entire budget into a single whole (although this money in the budget just goes by a separate, conditionally inviolable line) - they say that they have already built a lot of roads (!), there are more urgent needs. Unfortunately, he was supported by the then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin - he was publicly indignant when he learned that more money was spent on building roads than arming the army … And on May 17, 2000, President of Russia Vladimir Putin issued a decree “On the structure of federal executive authorities ”, where, by the way, one can read:“ Transfer to the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation the functions of the abolished Federal Air Transport Service of Russia and the Russian Road Agency ”. Apparently, regarding the construction of new roads and the reconstruction of old ones. And God be with him, as the new road institution will be called - an independent agency or department (although four years ago, the former head of the GKU Vladimir Putin proved which structure is better and more efficient). The thing is different - in violation of the law "On Road Funds". A separate line in the budget is being eliminated, from where the money could go exclusively for road construction.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has already signed a decree: now there will be another line “on the development of transport, roads and communications.” And “untouchable” travel money can be safely “thrown” anywhere - go and figure out what source it was received from. True, there is a small "snag" in the form of the law "On Road Funds", but this, it seems, does not bother anyone. In any case, the Minister of Finance proposed the creation of two new funds for the management of “road money”. One will be called the Subvention Fund for the Regions of the Road Development Region; the second has not yet been given a name. Maybe they take time to legally liquidate the old Fund (along with the law)? It will take a lot of time. In the meantime, you can easily “tax out” about 40 billion annually collected road taxes in the country.

We will continue to live with our “lapotnost”, standing in an endless smelly jam that will quickly spread throughout the country.

New bridge over the river. Tom near the city of Tomsk.

The highway M-54 "Yenisei". Transport interchange near the village. Kaibaly (Khakassia).

Bridge over the gorge of the river. Chemitokvadzhe (Dzhubga-Sochi highway).

INTRODUCTION OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ROAD CONSTRUCTION OBJECTS IN 2000–2003

Bridge crossing over the river. The Ob near the city of Surgut (total length 12 628 m, bridge - 1210 m) - September 2000.

The first phase of the bridge over the Volga near the village of Pristannoye, Saratov Region. (total length 14, 882 m, bridge - 2122 m) - September 2000

Section of the Don highway from Kashira (60 km) - October 2000

Bypassing Tosno on the Moscow-St. Petersburg highway (length 21.2 km) - October 2000

Section of the Chita - Khabarovsk highway (length 120 km) - December 2000

The bridge over the Kola Bay in the Murmansk region. (total length 2500 m, bridge - 1613 m) - 2001