Serik Akhmetov has visited the first 224km-long toll road in Kazakhstan: Astana-Schuchinsk route (road to Borovoye resort), Tengrinews.kz reports.
“The road was put into operation in 2009. And we have presented the toll road to Prime-Minister today. It was built in participation with GEA company from France. The payment can be made in cash, with a card or electronically. The pilot period will be followed by another probe period to see how the system works in our winter conditions. The cost will vary depending on the transport categories. There will be discounts for local citizens.
“The new toll road equipment cost around 700 million tenge ($4.7 million). We expect the annual earnings to be around 1.4 billion tenge ($9 million). The main objective is to maintain the road, i.e. winter and summer maintenance and small repairs,” chairman of the Motor Roads Commission of Kazakhstan Ministry of Transport and Communications Zamir Saginov said during presentation of the toll road.
The rates for the toll road have not been set yet. For the time being the Ministry of Transport and Communications suggests to set the rate of 1 tenge per kilometer for light cars and 20 tenge per kilometer for trucks.
According to Mohammed Kasmun, a representative of the French company that installed the equipment, the system is capable of operating in extreme weather temperatures.
“The system has been adjusted to local conditions. It can work at minus 50 degrees Centigrade and at plus 50 degrees Centigrade. This system has been installed in 35 countries. The last one was installed in Saint-Petersburg. It can be controlled remotely. There is a 3-year warranty. But if the equipment is used properly, it can work for 10 years,” Kasmun said.
3 car entrance lines have been installed on the road from Astana and 7 more at the road from Schuchinsk. The equipment automatically identified the class of arriving car and reads its plate number. It will take the driver only 3 seconds to pay in cash. One line has a capacity of 600 cars per hour.
The pilot period will last during this winter and the system will start fully operating in spring 2013.
According to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, a special operator-company will be established for the road management. Informational boards with phone numbers of emergency services will be placed at every 40km along the road.