On the 2nd December, 2016, the opening ceremony for the central section of the Western High-Speed Diameter (WHSD) took place. The ceremony was attended by the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. This marks the completion of construction of a unique high-speed municipal highway of federal significance. The highway will open to transport this week.
The ceremony was also attended by President and Chairman of VTB Bank Management Board Andrey Kostin, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Northwestern Federal District Nikolai Tsukanov, St Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko, Deputy Transport Minister Nikolai Asaul, and the Head of the Federal Road Agency Roman Starovoit.
The public-private partnership (PPP) project, which provides for building the central section of the Western High-Speed Diameter (WHSD) and the operation of the WHSD, is being implemented by Northern Capital Highway LLC (NCH), a consortium formed and led by VTB Capital. The project is estimated at over RUB 120 billion.
According to Andrey Kostin, VTB Group actively contributed to the construction of Russia’s most advanced highway. The WHSD, which will be used by hundreds of thousands of vehicles, is the world’s largest PPP toll road project. It will address infrastructure issues in St Petersburg and become an invaluable part of the federal transit system.
The Western High-Speed Diameter is Russia’s first four-lane municipal toll road. The 46-kilometre road is divided into three parts that connect the northern, central and southern districts of St Petersburg. The launch of the 12-km central section of the WHSD will open the entire highway to traffic.
The WHSD project was launched to ease road congestion by redirecting traffic to new routes, moving commercial vehicles from the Sea Port area to federal routes and ensuring free transit between the city’s business centre and Pulkovo Airport. In addition, it provides a 24-hour connection to Vasilyevsky Island.