Alexander Beglov noted that there were almost no questions that deserved the President’s attention at the moment. The city was well prepared to host the Russia-Africa Summit and its guests were quite happy. Vladimir Putin confirmed that this was true and thanked Mr Beglov both on his own behalf and on behalf of the guests who noted that St Petersburg was in perfect condition, which brought out its beauty.
Alexander Beglov delivered a progress report on carrying out the Presidential instructions regarding three megaprojects, first of all, the construction of a new Neva crossing – the Big Smolensky Bridge. This is the first time in 40 years that a project to build a major bridge across the Neva has been undertaken. It will be a drawbridge with six car lanes and a tram line. City residents living on Neva’s right and left banks are eager to get this bridge. The construction will be fully financed from the city budget. The feasibility study is expected to be completed in November, and the construction will start in December. The bridge is expected to be completed in 2027.
The second megaproject is the construction of a latitudinal motorway that will link the St Petersburg Ring Road with the Western High-Speed Diameter, on to the Leningrad Region, to the Kola motorway and to Murmansk. It will have a speed limit of 120 km/h. Phase one construction is already underway, and the road will be completed by 2030. The Governor went on to say that this project is being co-financed, with 50 percent coming from the federal budget and the other 50 percent from the city budget.
The speed tramway is the next megaproject. It is instrumental for the city because the new 21-kilometre line will cross three bridges and four overpasses, serving 13 million people per year. The project also includes a depot and 24 stops. As per the Presidential instructions, the National Welfare Fund will finance the purchase of 22 trams. The first tie bar is already in place, and the project is scheduled for completion in 2025. Again, it is being fully financed from the city budget.
Vladimir Putin pointed out that construction had decelerated slightly in St Petersburg. The Governor responded by explaining that a slowdown is attributable to the fact that developers are required to deliver housing together with social infrastructure, including schools, kindergartens and outpatient clinics. This is the rule currently in force. An urban planning commission has been formed to this effect.