During his working visit to Petrozavodsk, Russia's Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov held a meeting on transport infrastructure development in Karelia.
According to Maxim Sokolov, a huge amount of investments - 11.5 billion rubles - has been allocated this year for the reconstruction of federal highways on the territory
of Karelia and bringing them into compliance with the applicable standards.
"This is going to be a highly meaningful contribution to the development of the entire transport infrastructure in Karelia. It means creating new infrastructure
facilities and new jobs, as well as developing related industries. We understand that improving the efficiency of the transport system is essential for the future
of Karelia, for those who live and work here," - said the Minister.
Over the recent years, 300 kilometers of highways located in Karelia have been converted into state property. This year the same procedure is expected to be completed
for one more significant highway connecting Kochkoma settlement in Segezha district with the Russian-Finnish border. After that, in 2019, Russia's Federal Road Agency
will start reconstructing the highway and bringing it into compliance with the relevant standards.
Emergency bridges and railway overpasses are expected to be repaired through a special program.
"Such federal program for the Russian regions, including Karelia, should be developed within this year. After that we will be able to assess the funding landscape
and find ways to double the funding for building and reconstructing regional highways. This task has been recently set by Vladimir Putin in his address to the Federal
Assembly," - said Maxim Sokolov.
According to the Head of Republic, Artur Parfenchikov, the Government of Karelia is now applying for funding through the federal program for rural roads development.
Last year, the list of the most important rural routes was drawn up with due consideration for local population's needs.
The issue of Karelia's transport infrastructure development has been elaborated in a new version of the Special Federal Program for the Development of Karelia for
the Period until 2020. Projects in this sphere include the reconstruction of Petrozavodsk bus station and the network of core bus stations in the Republic, as well
as the reconstruction of two aircraft landing sites and the highway connecting Velikaya Guba village with Bolnichny settlement. It is also planned to replace 12
existing rural wooden bridges with reinforced concrete ones.
"All these measures aimed at developing Karelia's infrastructure can be implemented thanks to the joint efforts of Russia's Federal Government, the Ministry of
Transport and the Government of Karelia. We appreciate the commitment and support provided to us by the Federal Government," - said Artur Parfenchikov.
Some of the top priority projects for Karelia's infrastructure development include constructing a new passenger terminal at Besovets airport, reconstructing Petrozavodsk
city bridges, and extending Kuibyshev Street in Petrozavodsk to connect it with Varkaus Embankment. In 2018, the Government of Karelia will make major efforts to create
necessary designs and estimate the costs for those regional infrastructure projects which are expected to be started next year.