- History of the Moscow Ring Road
- The need for reconstruction is long overdue
- Description of the reconstruction project of the Moscow Ring Road
- What prospects does reconstruction open
According to the plan of the capital’s authorities, a global reconstruction of roads in Moscow is expected, the long-term plan of which is calculated until 2020. Moreover, the main work will be carried out in the first 5 years.
In total, the experts identified about 30 problem highways, but work will begin with the restructuring of the Moscow Ring Road, the reconstruction of which will start in 2012. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons that force the authorities to carry out such a large-scale and expensive reconstruction of the Moscow Ring Road..
History of the Moscow Ring Road
The design of the Moscow ring road began in the 30s of the XX century. The first sections were built in 1941, however, then it was used exclusively for military purposes. Already after the war, in the mid-50s, the first reconstruction of the track was carried out, and it began to be actively used for civilian purposes. The Moscow Ring Road was opened to traffic along its entire length only in 1962. The constructed transport interchanges made it possible to use the highway continuously. The movement was carried out in opposite directions in two lanes.
In addition, at the same time, 46 pedestrian crossings were built, which allowed pedestrians to cross the road without problems. Convenient ramps and special “pockets” for parking vehicles were arranged along the highway, as well as the necessary infrastructure (cafes, hotels, traffic police posts).
The road immediately began to be actively used and became the main transport artery of the capital. This led to the fact that by the beginning of the 70s the Moscow Ring Road, the throughput of which was initially 36 thousand vehicles per day, could no longer provide normal operating conditions.
As a result, in 1974 it was decided to increase the capacity of the ring road to 50 thousand vehicles per day. Then, reconstruction was carried out on the section between Volgogradsky Prospect and Entuziastov highway. The roadbed was widened, now cars could move in three rows.
However, not much time passed and the coating on the ring road began to deteriorate. In the 80s, the Moscow Ring Road gained a reputation as a “road of death”, poor coverage and poor lighting on some sections of the route led to the fact that the accident rate increased several times.
The next reconstruction of the road was carried out under the leadership of the mayor Yuri Luzhkov in 1993. It was a fairly large-scale project that was implemented in two stages:
- First stage (1993 – 1994): new lighting equipment and special reinforced concrete barriers were installed along the entire length of the ring road in the median strip.
- The second stage (1995-1998): the roadbed was expanded to five lanes in each direction.
Currently, the permitted speed on the Moscow Ring Road is 100 kilometers per hour, and the highway’s capacity is 9,000 vehicles per hour. However, this is no longer enough, therefore, there is a need for the next reconstruction of the highway..
The need for reconstruction is long overdue
In recent years, the number of vehicles in Moscow has increased dramatically, traffic jams have become commonplace not only in the capital itself, but also on the Moscow Ring Road. The road simply cannot cope with such a load, so the authorities have long thought about carrying out a global road reconstruction.
If we talk about the main reasons that the ring road is paralyzed by traffic jams, then four main points can be distinguished:
- Construction of the Moscow Ring Road with retail facilities and intensive development of housing construction in the areas adjacent to the highway. This road was originally built as a high-speed transit highway. Now it performs mixed functions: passing transit transport and turning the distribution of flows. As a result, the MKAD cannot cope with these functions, since it is simply not designed for these purposes. So, for example, the desire of someone to turn to a shopping center slows down movement on the highway. And there are a lot of such exits, as a result, traffic jams occur and the movement of cars along the Moscow Ring Road slows down a lot.
- The imperfection of the existing road junctions made of the “cloverleaf” type, which are outdated and do not meet the modern requirements for roads of such a scale as the Moscow Ring Road. Interchanges of this form lead to the inevitable crossing of road flows, therefore, to unload the road, it is necessary to make directional exits.
- Inconsistency in the number of lanes at the exits from Moscow and from the Moscow region. For example, on Varshavskoe highway, when driving from the region, there are 12 lanes, and on the urban part of Varshavka consists of only 8 lanes.
- High load due to transit freight transport. The most unfavorable situation is in areas with non-standard complex terrain. For example, on the section from the Kashirskoye highway towards Volgogradskoye there is a rather steep rise, when moving along it, heavy trucks greatly reduce their speed, slowing down the entire flow.
All these reasons, accumulating, led to the fact that last year the authorities decided on the need for a large-scale reconstruction. According to experts, work will be carried out in almost all areas. It is reported that about 80% of the roadway will have to be reconstructed. New ramps and junctions will be built, and the carriageway will be widened in some sections.
Description of the reconstruction project of the Moscow Ring Road
First of all, I would like to say that the decision to carry out the reconstruction was made back in 2011. At the same time, a tender was held to develop a reconstruction plan, which was won by the Research and Development Institute of the General Plan. It was the engineers of this institute, commissioned by the Moscow City Architecture Committee, who were developing a plan for the reconstruction of the Moscow Ring Road, the implementation of which will begin this year..
Due to the fact that the road in its current form has completely exhausted its capabilities, then the reconstruction will be global. According to experts, it is impossible to solve the problem of traffic jams and congestion by simply expanding the roadbed, as it was before. Therefore, a set of more effective measures has been developed..
So, let’s take a closer look at exactly what kind of work to improve the Moscow Ring Road will be carried out.
- Almost all currently available 47 interchanges will be fully reconstructed. At the cloverleaf junctions, left-turn ramps will be completed, which will run from the bottom or from the top.
- The engineers proposed to radically solve the problem of right-turn exits to the region, which cannot cope with the constantly growing flow of cars. Now, in order to leave the Moscow Ring Road in the Moscow Region, the entire flow must be lined up in 3 lanes, and all 2 lanes remain from the existing 5 lanes for traffic on the highway. The reconstruction project assumes that the extreme right headland must be fenced off from the rest of the lanes with special stops. For these purposes, most likely, metal bumpers will be used. The presence of such a limiter, as conceived by the engineers, will stabilize the situation, since it will no longer be possible to turn from the second and third lanes, and slow down the flow.
- In places of mass congestion of cars, especially with regard to ramps at large shopping centers, back-ups will be built – additional side passages with a width of 2 to 4 lanes with reversal overpasses. There are also plans to build convenient entrances to shopping centers from the Moscow region. That is, residents of the Moscow Region will be able to drive up to shops without going directly to the ring.
- Since the project for the construction of the Moscow Orbital Ring Road is expensive, it is expected that its implementation will take place with the attraction of funds from investors, including the owners of shopping centers located along the ring road..
- On sections of the road where there are single objects, for example, cafes, gas stations or service stations, deceleration and acceleration lanes will be added.
- The issue of inconsistency in the number of lanes at the entrance and exit from Moscow will be resolved. For this, lanes will be added in those areas where there is such a need..
According to the Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, at least another 100 km of new roads (ramps, junctions, etc.) are to be built to help relieve the Moscow Ring Road..
I would also like to note that at the moment the preliminary estimated cost of the reconstruction of the Moscow Ring Road is 15 billion rubles. However, this figure may change in the course of construction work, and most likely not to a lesser extent. One way or another, this is a large-scale project that requires large financial investments. The authorities hope that they will be able to get some of the funds from private investors.
It is reported that the entire complex of works on the reconstruction of the Moscow Ring Road will be carried out over 5 years and the construction will be completed in 2016.
What prospects does reconstruction open
Reconstruction of the Moscow Ring Road is only one of the stages of a large-scale project to improve the traffic situation in the capital. The city has been in trouble for a long time from endless traffic jams, this applies not only to the Moscow Ring Road, but also to city roads. So the fight against traffic jams and the solution of the transport problem in the capital is a priority for the current city authorities.
Due to the massive construction of shopping centers and the expansion of Moscow, the Moscow Ring Road is no longer a bypass highway, having turned into an extremely busy city road. This is no longer the border of the city, therefore the goals of this route have changed. Taking all this into account, it is necessary to change the road itself in accordance with the requirements that are imposed on it at the present time. This is what the reconstruction project is aimed at..
However, many experts believe that reconstruction of the Moscow Ring Road alone will not solve the problem. The ability to obtain the desired result will only give an integrated approach to solving this problem. At the same time, it is necessary to build new roads, build modern convenient interchanges, expand outbound routes, etc..
The authorities have not forgotten about this, so the global project for the modernization of the capital’s roads involves all these works. According to the adopted program, in the next five years, 19 outgoing highways will be reconstructed, new roads, parking lots and interchanges will be built.
Reconstruction will affect Kashirskoye, Varshavskoye, Leningradskoye, Dmitrovskoye, Yaroslavskoye and Mozhaiskoye highways, as well as Entuziastov highway, Ryazansky and Volgogradsky avenues and some other territories.
This will reduce traffic congestion and improve communication between metropolitan areas. For these purposes, in 2012 alone, 98.2 billion rubles were allocated from the city budget..
Of course, the reconstruction will bring certain inconveniences to Muscovites, since during road works the traffic will be severely limited and difficult. However, after the completion of the work, Moscow will receive modern wide roads and convenient interchanges. Experts note that the speed of movement in the city will grow to an acceptable 40 km / h, while now it barely reaches 15-20 km / h.
It remains only to wait for the completion of all work. Only then will we know how effective the developed project will be and whether it will be possible to implement all the engineers’ plans in reality.