The M11 motorway links the Moscow Ring Road with that in St Petersburg and mostly runs parallel to the toll-free M10 Rossiya motorway, crossing it several times.
The new route will handle transit traffic, including intra-regional traffic, and the M10 Rossiya motorway will accommodate local traffic and will ensure that traffic flows at a high speed between Moscow and St Petersburg.
The motorway is 669 kilometres long.
The M11 construction project was implemented on public-private partnership principles.
While speaking with construction workers, Vladimir Putin noted that following a public vote, the new route would be called Neva.
Other attendees included Presidential Aide Igor Levitin, Minister of Transport Yevgeny Ditrikh, Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Activities, the Environment and Transport Sergei Ivanov and Chairman of the Board of the State Company Russian Highways Vyacheslav Petushenko.
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Conversation with construction workers
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. I would like to congratulate all of you on this remarkable achievement. I have just seen our French colleague [Yves-Thibault de Silguy, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Vinci Group]. I remember signing the memorandum in Paris. I was there at the ceremony together with President of France Jacques Chirac. We made our plans in 2006, and now we have implemented them. We have never had anything of this sort before in the history of Russia and of national road construction.
Remark: But we have it now.
Vladimir Putin: True, we did not have it before, but now we do indeed have it. We can be proud of this. This is fantastic. I know that only a few of those who worked on the motorway all these years are here today. But, as they say, represented by you, I would like to congratulate all those who had a hand in this and who gave their heart, as well as their skills to this project.
It is quite clear, and you are all aware that this motorway will promote the development of the regions across which it runs. It will boost their economic development and increase accessibility, because when vehicles drive faster they do not harm the environment so much, and so on. There are many positive factors. However, there are also alternate routes, for example, the M10 motorway. This is wonderful. Thank you. I congratulate all of you and I wish you all the best.
Chairman of the Board of the State Company Russian Highways Vyacheslav Petushenko: Mr President, allow me to open the motorway.
Vladimir Putin: Of course, go ahead.
Remark: You have also given the motorway a name.
Vladimir Putin: I did not choose it, the people did. As you know, there were three options: Valdai, Neva and Dve Stolitsy [Two Capitals]. Neva gained the most votes. And this is what we will name the road.
Vyacheslav Petushenko: I hereby open the Neva road.
(The motorway is opened to traffic)
These cars drove together with us from Moscow to St Petersburg yesterday. It took us slightly more than six hours, because we made several stops. Other vehicles took the alternative route, and it took them longer.
Vladimir Putin: I have driven between Moscow and St Petersburg several times. It takes approximately ten hours.
Remark: It took six hours yesterday.
Vyacheslav Petushenko: Without any effort.
Minister of Transport Yevgeny Ditrikh: And without breaking any rules.
Vladimir Putin: It took me ten hours by the old route, M10.
Yevgeny Ditrikh: Ten hours at best. Traffic has become much heavier now. We saw masses of lorries along the way. Using the new motorway is not only easy but it is driver-friendly too.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you, and all the best!