Fast metro construction’s obstructions

15 monthNovember 2018

What does obstruct the development of the urban metro system and why the construction period of the new lines and stations get rescheduled constantly? This question is relevant for specialists and for citizens as well. The later still hold hope for the metro stations within walking distance of their homes.

The head of the organizational planning and mechanization department of the design institute Lenmetrogiprotrans Igor Iliyn

– Igor Valeryievich, why does St Petersburg metro construction pace is so slow?

– The main reason that the City does not aside territories for the construction in time. According to the current legislation, it is required to have all the entitling documents to pass the expert review, and it takes a lot of time to confirm them. While we accord on the previous documents, the new standards appear and we need to change the project again.

For example, we had to revise all the documentation for Begovaya station because we had completed it in 2012-2013 and the expert estimation was only in 2014. New standards got introduced in between, so we had to adapt our design for them.

– Moscow sets high pace of the construction. Do they play according to the different rules?

– The Federal Laws are the same for all. But Moscow has a great administrative resource to solve many questions faster. The City administration is inclined to construct more stations and pursue this aim. Besides, Moscow receives 20 times more budget funding than St Petersburg.

In Moscow, The Targeted Investment will distribute 546 billion rubles for the metro development.  In St Petersburg, there will be 18 billion rubles, and 4 of them are from the federal budget

Do the geological conditions in Moscow more favorable than in St Petersburg?

– It is now very correct to say the geological conditions in Moscow are better than in St Petersburg, as they are just different. St Petersburg is located on the plains and in regard to the district the Cambrian clays lays 15-30 meters deep. Moscow has a hilly terrain, and the depths change significantly within one project. In Moscow, rock soils may be at the depth of 20 meters. In St Petersburg, the watery ground might be at the same level.

– Why the cost of the construction in Moscow is lower than in St Petersburg? How does Moscow reduce the expenses?

–  With the construction costs being versatile for different projects, they are still comparable for both cities. The deep tunnels usually are more expensive. Once again, we need to compare the specific characteristics. The technical features designate space and layout design of the future metro station. The Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning requires comfort for the passengers as a prerequisite condition of the project’s implementation, and we have to find the balance between the price and the exterior. The same applies to St Petersburg.

Photo: J. Lekavicius /

Author of the article: Larisa Dubrovskaya

portal “Underground expert”