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City Hall Eyes Toll Road in Moscow

Traffic on Kutuzovsky Prospekt might be relieved due to a toll road project.

Private investors are likely to figure in the construction of a toll road to relieve traffic on Kutuzovsky Prospekt, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Thursday in an interview with the Rossia-24 television channel, as cited by Interfax.

"There are no such projects [toll roads] in the city now except for a road north of Kutuzovsky Prospekt intended to relieve traffic," Sobyanin said. "Private investors are likely to be involved there, and it's going to be a toll road." The idea of building the road was discussed in 2011 but was called a "distant prospect" then.

Sobyanin said the road would cross the Moscow Ring Road at the Molodogvardeyskaya interchange, reach the Moskva-City business district and join a toll road bypassing the city of Odintsovo, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported.

The 10.3 kilometer road north of Kutuzovsky Prospekt will cost about 60 billion rubles ($1.96 billion), down from the 110 billion rubles planned previously, Vedomosti reported.

"There's something wrong with City Hall's budget, and [authorities] want to find money for it," Andrei Osipov, a transportation expert, said in an interview with Kommersant. "That's why toll roads will be constantly introduced. By the way, that's why City Hall wants to strip traffic police of some functions — at least those related to fines for driving on the high-occupancy-vehicle lane."

He also said investors' interest in the project mentioned by Sobyanin would depend on terms offered by city authorities.

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