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Requiem for the bridge

Hopes for a new bridge across Zeya near Blagoveshchensk broke up on economic reality

Requiem for the bridge
By the end of 2017, Blagoveshchensk was planning to launch the Second Zeiss bridge. The first one does not cope with the continuous traffic flow for a long time and requires major repairs. But to close the only entrance to the regional center of the Amur River from the southern direction is impossible. 35-year-old design, designed for 3-6 thousand cars, per day misses 13-thousandth traffic. With a road width of only 12 meters, frequent accidents instantly block traffic in both directions. In the summer "rush hour," the townspeople routinely stand on the bridge in hours-long traffic jams. To save the situation 10 years ago were going to build a second bridge. But over the past three years, its value has almost doubled (about 20 billion rubles), and funding has not moved from the dead end. Amur experts told about the fate of the project of the Second Zeiss bridge to EastRussia correspondent.

"The region will never find such money." It is clear that it is not easy for us to get them from the federal budget either. But for this we are working with Minvostokrazvitiya and Rosavtodor. Offer to find a private investor. But at the moment there are no such people, - the Minister of Transport and Construction of the Amur Region Andrey Tyaglo commented on the situation.

As the director of the Agency of the Amur region for attracting investments Pavel Puzanov said, today investors are focused mainly on industrial projects. So, five new residents will appear in the region this year. All projects with the shortest payback period.

- It was planned that this bridge will be financed by the federal program. In due time there was an adjustment and the approach to financing of infrastructural projects has a little changed, - Pavel Puzanov explains. - It is necessary to understand that this bridge is considered primarily not as an investment project, but as a necessity of life support for the inhabitants of the city of Blagoveshchensk. In such projects, investors are reluctant to invest, because there is no such financial return.

Andrei Konushok, an investment specialist and an Amur economist, echoed. To pay for the bridge, in his opinion, a minimum of 20 years is necessary:

- In Khabarovsk, the bridge stood for more than a hundred years. So with our (1982 year of construction) in the coming years nothing should happen. These projects pay off, but in 20-30 years. Business can not afford this.

Less optimistic outlook draws a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Amur Region Sergei Trush.

- Since our entire economy is built on the flawed principle (when the private is more efficient than the state), then for lack of money, the bridge will not be seen for a long, long time, - Sergey Trush is sure. - Money to the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe Bridge to China, for example, was provided by a Chinese bank. In fact, we are building a bridge across China in debt to the Chinese in order to export from the country the resources that many of our officials and "businessmen" consider to be goods. And the bridge needed by the city and its inhabitants through Zeya does not appear in any clear perspective. I think this is a matter of at least ten years. This will be another long-term construction, if at all, ever will be.

To repair the entire transport network of the Amur region in 2017 allocated 5 billion rubles. To begin construction of a new bridge across Zeya, today the amount is almost 4 times more. Back in the 2014, the project was included in the Federal Target Program for the Development of the Far East until 2018. Then its value barely exceeded 11 billion rubles, eight of which promised to allocate from the state budget. Subject to 15% co-financing by an outside investor. But the latter has never been found.
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