New bridge over Sozh River in Gomel District open to traffic
A new bridge over the Sozh River in Gomel District was opened to traffic on 31 October. The bridge is part of the M8/E95 motorway that connects Yezerishche at the Belarusian-Russian border and the border checkpoint Novaya Guta at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border via Vitebsk and Gomel, BelTA has learned.
Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas, Gomel Oblast Governor Gennady Solovei, Aide to the President, Inspector for Gomel Oblast Yuri Shuleiko, and Transport and Communications Minister Aleksei Avramenko took part in the opening ceremony.
Addressing those present, Sergei Rumas noted that the inauguration of new facilities ahead of 7 November had become a good tradition in Belarus. The prime minister stressed the importance of the bridge for Gomel residents and for motorists travelling along the E95 motorway. The old bridge was closed to traffic for the duration of construction of the new bridge. All the traffic was rerouted through Gomel, thus inconveniencing its residents.
The new bridge is 544 meters long. Over 3,000 tonnes of metal has been used to build it. The construction project cost Br58 million taking into account beautification and accomplishment work.
Sergei Rumas noted that the bridge had been built ahead of the deadline thanks to hard work of bridge and road construction workers. As many as 130 people worked in three shifts while observing all the technical regulations to build the bridge. Cutting-edge technologies and Belarusian construction materials were used in the course of the project's implementation. Specialists expect the new bridge to last for at least 100 years.
The head of government noted that the experience of Belarusian road and bridge construction workers from all over the country, including the experience accumulated in the course of building this bridge, will be used later on. "The head of state pays close attention to the development of transport infrastructure as a vital component of sustainable economic growth," Sergei Rumas stressed. He was confident that Belarusian road construction workers can accomplish their mission of further reconstruction and construction of roads and bridges.
Gomel Oblast Governor Gennady Solovei said that in addition to connecting Gomel with Russia and Ukraine the new bridge will encourage the development of new transport infrastructure projects designed to gradually remove vehicle traffic from the city's center, thus improving the environmental situation over there.
Transport and Communications Minister Aleksei Avramenko explained that the project provides for restoring the streets affected by heavy traffic when the old bridge was closed. There are plans to spend Br6.5 million on it. The work will begin next year.