Will the new metro station specially designed for the World Cup 2018 be constructed in time?

The time limit for the period of construction was set. We are talking about delaying the process challenges the constructors encounter during construction with specialists from  constructing companies “Upravlenye -15 Metrostroy” and “Tonnelny otryad-3” the Design institute “Lenmetrogiprotrans”, developed the project.  

Saint Petersburg media and general public recently are in discussion of the current city problems, like traffic situation. The governor Georgiy Poltavchenko declared the development of the metro system as one of the priorities for the City Administration, the authorities from the relevant committees announced that there was enough funding. Despite the political views, the specialists are more reserved about the perspectives of the Saint Petersburg metro system.

Several challenges interfere with the time limit of the construction of the new stations:

  • The total absence of the relevant chapter in the town-planning system,
  • Flaws of legislative system,
  • The absence of the relevant standards and pricing system.

These aspects delay the development of the urban underground space and consequently the whole complex of transport, social and environmental problems remain unsolved.

The most likely time limit for two new stations construction.

A lot of questions arise in regard of two stations “Novokrestovskaya” and “Begovaya” and the completion of their construction before the World Cup 2018.   Such technical details as expertise, cost estimate and land acquisition are verified and certified. Although the cost estimate should be revised again by authorities and it may take up to two months, while the competitions on the construction design documents development may be announced only after the positive consideration result for the cost estimate. The competition itself may take about a month and a half.

Схема метро. Станции "Новокрестовская-1" и "Беговая"

It is counterproductive to develop the detailed design, since it should be prepared along the construction works. At this stage some financial and bureaucratic problems may appear.

Владимир Марков, заместитель генерального директора по проектированию метрополитенов ОАО НИПИИ «Ленметрогипротранс»Vladimir Markov, deputy general director on metro systems design of the Design Institute “Lenmetorgiprotrans”: “According to the agreement, we should provide the construction design documentation in stages and get paid for it. But in regard of our current customer it becomes a problem. Comparing design documentation and construction design documentation the Transport Construction Management is able to make numerous claims regarding the content and return it back without payment. This kind of interaction may continue for a really long time, allowing the budget plan of the city being disgraced. And we expressed our concern about possible delays of the construction in the letter to the Governor of Saint Petersburg. Then the letter of the President of the Saint Petersburg Department of the Russian Tunneling Association  with the Governors resolution was sent to Development Committee for Transport Infrastructure and just like disappeared there”.

In the most positive estimation the construction will start in autumn, when there still be about 2.5 years until the planned time for the finishing of the construction works. The completion of the project of the two stations including 6km tunnel requires some unconventional decisions.

Firstly, it takes about half of the year to transfer the TBM from the previous construction site and to launch it. Secondly, the diaphragm wall for each station is more than 500 m, with the speed of its construction being in average no more than 40 m per month. In addition, the relevant equipment is necessary. The construction sites need a great number of professional concrete workers and steel-fixers. Also it will be necessary to speed up the TBM to the maximum, 500 m per month, with any obstacles in this chain being inexcusable.

The time limit for the station “Begovaya” established with absent construction design documentation.

Since the 5th of November, 2014, the concrete works has been carried out at the construction site of the “Begovaya” station, with 75% of the fore shaft wall being ready. The engineering lines are still not replaced thus the fore shaft can’t be completed.

Стройплощадка станции метро "Беговая"

The construction site of the “Begovaya” station

Metro builders are not sure the customer is willing to complete the works until the World Cup. The construction should have been started in the January 2015, but the construction pit has not been started yet. So we are lacking half of the year.

Виктор Тишкин, главный инженер ЗАО «Тоннельный отряд-3»

Viktor Tishkin,Chief Engineering Officer JSC “Tonnelny otryad - 3”: The special technology was suggested for the station “Begovaya” for the main building construction -  top-down.  It holds some difficulties in the process of construction that goes from the top of the pit down. The additional obstacle – all work has to be carried out in the tight working area, where heavy equipment cannot be used.
The high speed hardly can be maintained. 

The necessity of speeding up the process requires organization of the simultaneous works on different areas.  But in this case we may end up with the site overloaded with equipment. Some logistic challenges may arise considering increasing of the pressure on the production infrastructure.  And also the customer strictly recommends the contractor to follow all the details of the approved project.  But the project does not contain simultaneous works. I would like the construction site to be more like an alive being, while the project of the construction organization is more like a conception.

Also we have some experienced in this method colleagues, and we know the station may be completed in the time limit that is more than two years. 

The construction for the station and even the drilling of the tunnel section may not be the main challenges here. The most complicated part will be the inner engineering in the double-track tunnel. The stiff base should be erected, upper base for rails, vent floor (concrete board in the base of the tunnel being of its length).  If it were one-track tunnels, the builders would have to make about 11.5 km. According to the timeline the drilling should be finished by March 2017, and dismantling of the TBM should be carried out before May, 2017. That means engineering works may start not earlier. To start the concrete works from the side of the dismantling pit is not possible before August, 2017, because of the dismantling of the TBM. The maximum speed for concreting the track is 800 m per month. So we need 14 months before we start put rails. With the line planned to be open in May, 2018, the more real time line for the opening is September.

 «Novokrestovskaya - 1».

«Novokrestovskaya-1» is an in-between station at the new section of the Line 3.

At present artificial land piece being constructed in the water area of the Neva Bay near Krestovsky island. The vast transport infrastructure will be developed for the needs of the new stadium that should be finished for the World Cup 2018.

Строительство метро "Новочеркасская-1"

Construction of the metro station “Novokrestovskaya – 1”

The main work contractor has to complete the construction on the artificial land piece (16.61 sq ha) until 30th of September, 2015, there are three stages planned, the future construction site should be done first.

Николай Власов, генеральный директор ЗАО «Управление-15 Метрострой»

Nikolay Vlasov, CJSC “Upravlenyie-15 Metrostroy” CEO commented: “According to the design, the station will be shallow, constructed with the «top-down»method, with the diaphragm wall protecting the construction”.   “That is a four-floors frame construction, with boarding platforms, halls and tunnel facilities being in the total structural volume.”
By the end of January, 2015, the first central part was erected of sand by the contractor LLC “Intex” with the height of +1.5 m above the level of the ground waters, instead of planned +3.2 m. Due to the time limits CJSC “Upravlenyie-15 Metrostroy” started preparation of the construction site in the middle of February, 2015.

Site preparations, including construction of the diaphragm wall and jet-grouting of the base, were performed at the territory with the square of 2.86 Ha.

In collaboration CJSC “Upravlenyie-15 Metrostroy” and LLC “Intex” filled the embankment up to the planned level of 3.2 m, it took 48.860 sq.m. of sand, 1.200 airfield plates (14.400 sq.m.) were placed then. 

What are we waiting for?

As for the station “Begovaya”, Vladimir Markov thinks the construction could be possibly started now, basing on the already approved part of the project. According to him: “There are such instruments like “the single source”: the city administration could appointed the designer and constructor, pay advance fee to JSC “Metrostroy”, and order to start the construction. But the decision should be taken right now”.

There was constructed 740 liner m. of the fore shaft for the diaphragm wall of the station. Although the project documentation passed the State Expertise, no further works initiated at the present time.

ст.м. Новокрестовская. Опалубка форшахты демонтажного котлована

Lining of the guide wall of the dismantling pit, station “Novokrestovskaya”