46.6 - PhMuseum

46.6

Nikolay Epifanov

2019

Saint Petersburg, St.-Petersburg, Russia

The Western High-Speed Diameter is a toll motorway in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The first section of the road open to traffic was an eight-lane motorway. Some of the sections were built right above the residential neighborhoods of St. Petersburg, which caused all manner of strife for residents. The total length of the toll motorway is 46.6 kilometers.

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  • The Western High-Speed Diameter is a toll motorway in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The first section of the road open to traffic was an eight-lane motorway. Some of the sections were built right above the residential neighborhoods of St. Petersburg, which caused all manner of strife for residents. The total length of the toll motorway is 46.6 kilometers.

  • During and after construction, empty houses began to be squatted by migrant and homeless people, which led to tension with locals. These problems were later solved.

  • Residents of those houses that remained undisturbed by construction had their original wooden windows replaced with new plastic frames to protect against traffic noise from above. These were installed free of charge in the bedrooms and living rooms, but in the kitchen at the residents' own expense. Some residents couldn't afford to renovate windows in their kitchens and have had no choice but to suffer the noise.

  • The Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing carried out noise measurements in the apartments of buildings located within 50 meters of WHSD columns - revealing noise in excess of permissible norms.

  • Some of the resettled inhabitants had lived in Kanonerskiy Ostrov all their lives, since the 1950s. In those days, the port could be crossed by foot on small bridges, since there was no ship navigation in the area at that time.

  • Those who weren't resettled lived with the construction process hovering overhead. A local kindergarten in the shadow of the site remained open, but the children were not allowed to go outside.

  • Until 1983, when an underwater tunnel was built connecting the island with the port infrastructure and mainland, the tight-knit community of local residents was extremely isolated. Outsiders were rare and people, at times, did not see the need to lock their doors.

  • “They don’t ask us. Our word comes last. I don’t need a road, I don’t have a car, but once the city needs it, well, good”, said one of the residents.


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