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First Moscow Region Toll Railway Crossing in the Works

Some railroad crossings are closed for up to 18 hours a day, leaving motorists stranded on either side for hours. Vladimir Filonov

The company Regional Toll Road plans to invest 10 billion rubles ($330 million) to build up to 20 toll bridges at Moscow region railroad crossings by 2020, the firm’s general director, Vladimir Sopryakov, told Vedomosti.

Regional Toll Road, or RPD, is a part of Norilsk Nickel. The company is now building the first toll overpass in the Moscow region, at Vostraikovsky, on the Paveletsky rail line, in the Domodedovo district. This crossing is now closed up to 18 hours a day due to rail traffic, Sopryakov said.

By the end of this year, RPD plans to obtain all necessary permits, and the overpass should be completed by fall 2014.

The company estimates the cost of the overpass at no less than 500 million rubles, and the project will have a payback period of between 10 and 15 years. Cars will pay 15 rubles to cross, while other vehicles will pay 30 rubles. Public transportation and emergency vehicles will cross for free.

After 20 years, RPD will hand the overpass over to the regional or local government.

Gazprombank is a potential investor in toll overpasses, a source in the regional administration told Vedomosti. “This is low-margin business but important for the region, and the source of the return on investment is clear,” Gazprombank executive vice president Alexei Chichkanov said.

According to existing law, construction of a toll overpass requires that a free alternative be within 5 kilometers of the paid crossing. There is a free crossing about 3 to 4 kilometers from Vostraikovsky, Sopryakov said.

The Moscow region government plans to finance the construction of 17 railway overpasses in the region by 2020, at a cost of 70 billion rubles, acting Governor Andrei Vorobyov said recently.

The first ones will be in Pavlovsky Possad, Dologoprudny, Kotelniky and Novy Stupino.

These are the most problematic, as drivers wait an average of three hours during rush hour to cross. There are about 100 railroad crossings in the Moscow region.

But providing overpasses for all these crossings using budget funds is not possible, so the governor issued an order to attract private investors.

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