The bridge is ours: Arkady Rotenberg got the contract for the construction project of the century

The largest state contract for all years, 228 billion rubles for the construction of a bridge to the Crimea, had been distributed in the form of an order. Why the choice fell on the Russian president's friend?
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"Soon there will be Sochi hundreds of builders, trailers, trucks. So get ready! "- Andrey Zhukov, Deputy Federal Minister for Crimea, trying to motivate the officials surrounding him. On the dock the ferry that connects the Crimean Kerch to the Taman Peninsula, are hard at work: workers poured pad for parking for 1800 cars, divers inspected the new pier, which can berth large ferries. Now Crimean officials pompously called the "Gate of Crimea" is not a border with Ukraine Dzhankoy, and Kerch. A future bridge across the strait - none other than the "Road of Life". Despite the fact that it is planned to spend up to 228.3 billion rubles (in prices of 2015), the Black Sea Fleet veterans have announced to raise funds for construction.

By March 19, 2014 is not yet law to join the Russian Crimea and Sevastopol have been signed, and Vladimir Putin has already indicated to the Ministry of Transport, what should be the bridge - "and by road and by rail." A year has passed. All the while preparing the feasibility study, but officials make him secondsPET - they say that the figures are not yet approved. The authors of the preliminary draft categorically refuse to talk to reporters. And with the choice of contractors is also a strange story. Friends of Putin, created for the "construction projects century" the largest companies of the country, came under Western sanctions. Gennady Timchenko, who was considered the favorite to get the order of the bridge, the construction declined unexpectedly. Arkady Rotenberg agreed, but when his company "Stroygazmontazh" (SGM) entered at the disposal of the government, complained in an interview with "Kommersant" that many of the victims: it is "his latest project," he decided to "contribute to the development of the country."

Project Krymsky Bridge is full of oddities and secrets. And even now, when the determined estimate and the contractor is still a lot of questions.

The impasse on the island

Actually, the bridge was already in the Crimea. First there was a railway crossing between the Crimea and Taman at the end of the Second World War, the fall of 1944. It was built specifically for Stalin, who was returning from the Yalta Conference. However, the bridge stood only until Februaryala. A thick layer of ice hummocks reaching the Sea of ​​Azov two meters, began to drift and took the third pillar. Restore it did not, but did in 1953, ferry service, through which allowed two railway staff in the day. After the collapse of the Union were only passenger ferries.

The idea to rebuild the bridge belongs to the former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, always use the Crimean card in domestic politics.
In 2001, arrived at the Kuban, he delegations Crimea and Krasnodar territory laid the first stone, and promised that his city will invest $ 100 million construction project.

A year later, he said the former mayor of the capital, Putin met with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, it showed variations of bridges and tunnels and explained the economic sense of the project. Go through the Kerch Strait is economically justified, Luzhkov said, only if there is a through passage through the peninsula. Then the path of the goods from southern Russia and the Caucasus to Europe gets 450 km shorter than around the Sea of ​​Azov. Moscow designers explored the Strait and podschitaDo that four possible bridge project cheaper of the two tunnel options. Bridges would cost between $ 1.3 billion to $ 1.6 billion, tunnels -. More than $ 2 billion in their section would have to be laid in a trench dug in deep, up to 50 m, demersal mud and sand and secure the load, so as not to pop up.

Price fluctuations: a changed evaluation of the project cost

- 50 billion rubles estimated construction of a road bridge in March 2014 the Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov;

- From 150 to 200 billion rubles "range" the cost of the bridge, said in July, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak;

- 283 billion rubles in July estimated the Expert Council under the Ministry of Transport, would be required to spend on the project in the case of the construction of a two-level combined (road-rail) bridge;

- 247 billion rubles will be "limiting the amount of financing," said Forbes in Rosavtodor in January.

Source: Forbes data

The bridge could be built either on the site of the ferry (the short version, 5,7 km), or to the south and north. The longest (11.7 km) and expensive project was the transition hErez Tuzla Spit, 6 km long island in the strait, reclaimed stormy sea currents. Once Tuzla was connected to the Russian shore, but in 1925 a storm separated it from the mainland. The route chosen for the construction of the Kerch transition now. And then in all cases was a 260-meter span over the navigable channel between the Azov and Black Seas.

Now, in the midst of a conflict with Ukraine, in terms of logistics Crimea becomes cut off from the world of the island and the Kerch transition leads to a dead end.

"In Crimea, the entire passenger flow resort fit in train Moscow - Kharkiv - Simferopol and cargo only to maintain the vital functions of the Crimea - says who asked not to be named Moscow specialist road builder. - The whole project - idiocy. "

Crimean authorities also believe that they can get by ferry system. "The cost of a [large] ferry, which removes 15-20% of the load of the Kerch ferry is € 100-110 million, that is about 7 billion rubles, rather than 250 billion [the bridge]", - said the head of the Sevastopol Legislative Assembly Alexey Chaly, who Hocaie turn Sevastopol into another logistics hub. For the Kerch ferry was able to charter two Greek ferry, Ionas and Olympiada, with three times the capacity than the Russian, - 170 cars and 600 people to 47 and 215. However, the Crimean ferry also has a serious drawback. Under international law, for them as for the construction of the bridge, you need permission to Ukraine. Forbes wanted to get a comment Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Andrew Brewer, but not on the phone or on the request sent to his press service, he did not answer.

Russian federal official agrees that ferries expedient, and says that even now preparing and routes through Sevastopol, Feodosia and Kerch ports. However, a large bridge is still needed, says another official transport workers. The movement of large masses of people in the Crimea and back takes place only in the beach season, and it was at this time on the ferries formed the "bottleneck." "You can not just build ferries park - they have somewhere to moor, streams must move from the ports respectivelysponding roads and interchanges, and then have to build additional berths, railroad tracks and ramps which most of the year will be idle, "- he explains. The bridge is designed with the expectation of maximum load.

Russia de facto

In March last year established "Avtodor" Company "Transport passage through the Kerch Strait," announced a contest for the engineering survey and feasibility study (FS) for the construction of the transition. The project entered the practical phase, and then occupied the first and third places in the ranking of Forbes «kings of the state order" Timchenko and Rothenberg were the main contenders for the execution of the political order. "Mostotrest" Rotenberg brothers and the UK "Bridge" Timchenko said that they are ready to join forces.

"Mostotrest" from 1930 specialized in large bridges. In recent years, the company has built a bridge across the Angara River in Irkutsk, the bridge "Scenic" across the Moscow River, Big Obukhov Bridge in St. Petersburg, understudy Spa prospect in Sochi. CompanyTimchenko has built a bridge to the island of Russian in Vladivostok, the famous Roki Tunnel.

However, even construction companies Putin's friends is not enough competence for such a complex project.
"In normal circumstances some elements could be bought from the Swedes, Germans, Canadians, but because of the sanctions any barriers, and now you can not buy everything, - says Director of the Institute of Transport Economics School of Economics Mikhail Blinkin. - And if you buy, it is not original and generic Chinese. "

In April 2014 the order of "Avtodor" advisory council was set up to evaluate the research and feasibility studies, and in May, more than 50 engineers and scientists, including a manager SGM, "Mostotrest" and "Stroytransgaz" Timchenko (STG), traveled to Kerch. We considered three main options: a combined bridge and tunnel support pontoon bridge Freyssinet French company, which has supplied cable systems of the bridge on the Russian island, says Professor of Kuban State tehuniversiteta Constantine Daragan. Tunnel Option seemingly cheaper than the bridge, immediately rejected. Save it turned out only ifpenetrate only a single thread, but it does not provide cross-defined 100 million tonnes of cargo per year and 40 000 vehicles a day. This would require two road and two railway tunnel. project the traditional opt for Russian girder bridge on stilts, the same as in 1944. But now, the pile must be four times longer - up to 70 m, with a "sole" diameter of 2 m, to ensure the stability in difficult ground demersal. The route to go, too, chose the familiar - in Tuzla. "The fundamental solution (the height of 50-60 m, width - 22 m) have been identified and will not change, - says Daragan - and designers will be engaged in specific nodes." The initial cost of the project is also determined not advice. It is considered in the "Avtodor" on the basis of the prices, and then, as described in the Government's meeting with the President, Vice-Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who traded with contractors. He later said that the cost of transition has been reduced by 19 billion rubles to 228.3 billion rubles.