The Narvinsky tunnel for Amur leopards protection

The construction of the tunnel under the Narvinsky mountain pass started in February, 2012, Primorsky Province, Far East. Four years later it was opened and the area became safe for the rare Amur leopards. The population of their species recently was estimated as 30-45 animals.

On the 26th of March 2016 the automobiles left the road to the inhabitants of the Leopard National Park, situated on both sides of the Razdolnoye-Khasan highway.

Project name: The Narvinsky tunnel
General contractor: AO Primavtodor
Location: Primorsky krai
Length of the tunnel: 565 meters
The cost of the project: 1.8 billion Rubles (about 24 million Euro) 

tunnel construction for Amur leopards

The tunnel constructions. Source: Primorsky Provence Administration press service

The first ecological tunnel in Russia - The Narvinsky tunnel 

The transport is always dangerous for the wild nature. The ecological tunnels serve for their safety, so the animals may use their habitual routes in the areas where new roads and railroads were constructed. 

This is the first ecological tunnel in Russia. The project is unique because it was constructed for the people and their vehicles, not for animals but still protect the latest. Instead of the mountain spiral road the drivers now use the two lines 0.5 km long tunnel inside the rock.

The territory of the mountain pass, which will be invigorated in future years into the unique natural landscape of the Ussuri taiga, is left of the big wild cats. 

The cost of the project is 1.8 billion Rubles (about 24 million Euro) About 47% was paid from the federal budget, the rest was paid from the Primorsky province budget. 

The project length of the tunnel is 565 meters, width – 9.25 meters, height – 5 meters. 

The tunnel is equipped with the fireproof coating, the modern fire extinguishing systems, advanced ventilation system, alarm system and also the control point.  

The Narvinsky tunnel construction

The change of the construction time (source: skatr.ru/main_news)

The Narvinsky tunnel construction phases 

The construction work at the highway A189 started in March, 2012. The trenchless method was chosen: the builders worked through the rock soil of the Narvinsky mountain pass from both sides. 

Initially the object was settled to be put in commission at the end of 2014, but the construction process was delayed. Some differences were founded between  the geotechnical survey and the real geological conditions, bringing changes into the design.

The construction time was changed for autumn of 2015 and later again for the end of December the same year. In practice the opening happened only in spring of 2016.  

The project involved 60 workers daily. The speed of work was approximately 1-2 meters per 24h. The Southern and the Northern portals of the tunnel were connected in January 2015 and in  summer the concrete works for the reinforced concrete tunnel crown were finished as well as protective works. The waterproofing was finished in July, 2015.  

The first vehicles, the construction machinery, entered tunnel on August 28, 2015.  Later the builders finished the asphalt works, installed barriers and the road signs.

Pre-comission activities took time from November to December 2015. The tunnel was checked by authorities and decorated before its opening on March 26.

 Opening ceremony - The Narvinsky tunnel

Open ceremony 26 March 2016: from right to left - Yury Trutnev, Sergei Ivanov, Vladimir Miklushevsky, head of the national park "Land of Leopard" Tatiana Baranowska and representative "Primavtodor"