The strategic crossing to be built on permafrost in jeopardy due to funds needed for Crimea.
The complex project in harsh permafrost conditions would take 14 years. Picture: Business of Russia
Russia's Transport Ministry said on Wednesday it wants to protect the crossing close to Yakutsk, the world's coldest city, over the world's 11th longest river.
Along with the new port of Taman on the Azov Sea, also at risk, the projects amount to "strategic initiatives for our transport system and for all Russia", said Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov.
'Certainly, the situation is changing. It may also change in geopolitical and financial aspects,' he said. 'But today the project of a bridge across the Lena River passed many stages of its development and contest procedures were finalised in April.
'Today bidding talks are on with the winner. Certainly we will also protect interests of transport infrastructure development in the Far East.'
Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said earlier that Russia would need to save 112 billion rouble investments in these two projects to direct the funds to the upgrade of infrastructure of the recently annexed Crimea.
It was reported in April that Gennady Timchenko's OJSC USK Most, OJSC Bamstroymekhanizatsia (MOEX: BMSM) and OJSC Stroyproekt Institute, had won a tender to build a bridge over Lena River.
The winning consortium had letters of support from companies whose experience, competence and resources may be used during the implementation of the project. Among these were Vinci Concessions, which proposed joining the consortium, the EBRD, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, VTB Bank, Gazprombank (MOEX: GZPR), and the International Finance Company, reported Interfax.
The highway bridge-crossing complex is scheduled to include a road bridge, highway approaches, engineering constructions, bridge security and operation structures and junctions to the Umnas and Lena highways.
The bridge is expected to be 3.181 kilometres in length and the complex project in harsh permafrost conditions would take 14 years.
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