The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has approved a loan of up to €200 million to fund a section of a new toll road by-passing the historic centre of St. Petersburg in Russia.
The project has also received funding from four other banks, which include Russia's Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank (VEB), VTB-Capital, Gazprombank, as well as the Eurasian Development Bank.
The 12-year EBRD loan will contribute to financing the 11.7 km central section of the WHSD, whose total length will be 46km. A large part of the central section of the by-pass will be built over water, and the construction of bridges and flyovers, as well as one tunnel.
EBRD stated that the by-pass motorway will connect the city's major commercial port with the St. Petersburg Ring Road in the south and with the Scandinavia motorway to Finland in the north. The new road will form an integral part of Pan-European Transport Corridor IX linking Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev and the cities of southern Europe.
The project is expected to reduce 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, according to preliminary estimates. Joint Stock Company WHSD is the overall contractor for the project.