Viktoria Korneeva reports on EC IFPA's involvement in preparing infrastructures for Sochi.
Large construction projects and cleanliness seem to be an unreachable ideal in Russia. However, the work involved in preparing the infrastructure and constructing the Olympic venues for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi - a sizeable project – showcased some of the most prominent examples of environmentally friendly facilities. Inogen Associate, Environmental Centre IFPA explains their involvement in such a crucial project – one which was well publicized and under the scrutiny of government, the Olympic Committee and the United Nations Environmental Department.
In addition to sports venue construction within the coastal and mountainous areas, preparation for the Sochi Olympic Games 2014 also included construction of complicated infrastructure. One of these was a unique road ensuring state-of-the-art-type high speed approach to the mountain cluster — the Combined Highway and Railway.
Above: Combined highway and railway in Sochi [Construction]
The road mainly passes via the bridges immediately over the Mzymta mountain river course with an extremely difficult flood regime and via Sochi National Park crossing conservation areas with scarce plants.
Extremely important to the client (Russian Railways Company) in charge of the Combined Highway & Railway project, was demonstrating that it was possible to comply with international environmental standards even within the framework of large-scale projects.
The work commenced in 2008 and included various aspects:
- Modeling of the hydraulic regime of the mountain river.
- Development of the requirements for environmental protection during implementation of the construction.
- Program for recovery of the hydrological and hydromorphological regime, including restoration of natural salmon spawning grounds.
- Restoration of the national park lands disturbed during construction work.
The road build and other Olympic facilities were subject to special attention of the International Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, United Nations Environmental Program and wider international community.
"For the purpose of modelling of the mountain river behavior during floods, State Hydrological Institute (Saint Petersburg) built a series of hydraulic models for eleven sections of the river. On the basis of the results from fully digitalized aerial and space photography in State Hydrological Institute, models of the river and the road being built were developed in the scale of 1:80. It was important to understand the river behavior in order to correctly calculate stability of the bridge abutments and protect them from erosion."
L. Bychkovskaya (PHD Geography) Chief Project Engineer at Environmental Centre IFPA
Environmental Centre IFPA Research & Production division developed the program for recovery of hydrological and hydromorphological regime of the Mzymta river for the Russian Railways company under the instructions of the Russian Government and jointly with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation. Other extremely important issues for the project development included consideration of restoration of the valley landscapes and aquatic environment.
Above: 1:80 scale model of the Mzymta mountain riverCollaboration of the Russian Railways and Environmental Centre IFPA, resulting in implementation of large scale construction works with minimum impact on the environment, was recognized at the highest levels within the Russian Federation and the project received a National award for "Best Project Aimed at Improvement of Water Resources Utilization". Employees of Environmental Centre IFPA who participated in the project implementation won the awards from the International Olympic Committee and the Government of the Russian Federation.
"It is our pride and delight that this project of Russian Railways company became the best project aimed at improvement of water resources utilization resulting in the national award."
President of the Environmental Centre IFPA