Russian President Vladimir Putin recently launched traffic on the final section of the Central Ring Road (CRR). He attended the opening ceremony at the CRR Control Centre to give the green light to the traditional convoy of trucks with state flags.
The construction of the 336 km long highway started in 2014. It crosses 13 federal roads and is located 50 km from the Moscow Ring Road. A toll is to be paid on the 260-kilometer CRR section where Russia implemented the Free Flow payment system for the first time. It does not require vehicles to stop at toll booths, which is very convenient for drivers.
The full commissioning of the CRR will make it possible to redirect the stream of cars, in the first place trucks that previously had to enter the Moscow Ring Road for transit through Moscow. The last 25 km section, connecting Simferopolskoe and Kievskoe highways, is now operational.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that the new highway had already reduced the load on the Moscow Ring Road by 16%. Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin noted a 15-percent decrease in the accident rate due to the partial transition of freight transport to the Central Ring Road.
President Vladimir Putin mentioned at the opening ceremony the importance of completing the Central Ring Road project. It is crucial not only for Moscow and Moscow region but for the whole country, Putin said suggesting that Avtodor should be given the right to develop the territories, directly adjacent to highways. This is very important for the economic development of the country as a whole.
“If they had this right, they would do it,” Putin said, “They would build everything from scratch. The development of the territories would importantly create new jobs.”
Free Flow system needs to be finalized
Meanwhile, the CRR still needs some remedial works. Interchanges will have to be completed in the north and east. The overhead road near the Minsk and Mozhaiskoye highways is not fully completed. The Free Flow system itself needs to be improved.
Transponders don't always work out, so experts suggest connecting the system to phone numbers to inform the drivers if the payment fails. Specialists believe that the Free Flow system can be implemented on other toll roads after it is fully debugged.
CRR speed limit is 110 km/h. During the construction of the CRR 225 facilities (144 crossovers, seven aqueducts, 55 bridges, and 19 pedestrian crossings) were built. Nearly 200 traffic surveillance cameras were also installed there.
According to the data provided by Avtodor, the CRR project cost 341.2 billion rubles ($4.60 bln.) The funds of the National Welfare Fund amounted to 150 billion rubles ($2.02 bln.) About 95 billion rubles ($1.28 bln) were contributed by Russian and international investors.