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Government Mulls Domodedovo Toll Highway Plan

The costs of reconstructing the highway and increasing the number of its lines are estimated at about 19.7 billion rubles ($552 million).

The highway linking Moscow to Domodedovo Airport may become a new toll road under a government scheme to raise funds for road repairs and development from fees paid for using them, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov ordered state road-building company Avtodor and the Transportation Ministry to draft a plan for the Domodedovo A105 highway, part of the Moscow air hub by April 30.

The talk is not only about making it a toll road and different possibilities should be assessed, a source in Shuvalov's team told the newspaper.

A Transportation Ministry spokesman said the feasibility of the plan depends on finding an alternative free route.

The costs of reconstructing the highway and increasing the number of its lines are estimated at about 19.7 billion rubles ($552 million). The federal program for transport development has only 8.4 billion rubles ($235 million) for the purpose, with the rest of the funding has to be provided by  private investors and the National Welfare Fund.

According to Transportation Ministry, Russia has 230 kilometers of toll highways, which last year generated 1.5 billion rubles ($42 million), which could be used to fund road development. One of the main contributors could be the Moscow–St. Petersburg highway to be completed in 2018.

"Technically, the idea of introducing charges for parts of a highway may be implemented easily as it does not contradict the law," said Mikhail Blinkin, director of the Institute of Transport Economy and Transport Policy at Moscow's Higher School of Economics. However, he said that fees to be collected could cover just 10 percent of the expenses needed for reconstruction.

Contact the author at d.kulchitskaya@imedia.ru

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