Pavel Livinsky: City to move 950 km of utility mains underground

Pavel Livinsky: City to move 950 km of utility mains underground
Head of Moscow’s Department of Fuel and Energy discusses new utility mains and lamps under My Street programme.

Pavel Livinsky

This year, overhead cables and wires above over 50 city streets will be relocated underground in line with the My Street city improvement programme. Moscow will receive more energy-saving lamps, and entrances to the city will be brightly illuminated. Pavel Livinsky, Head of the Department of Fuel and Energy, discusses the service life of underground utility mains and new street illumination options in a interview.

Question: Mr Livinsky, the city launched the Our Street programme about a year ago. Can you please tell us about the schedule for the improvements?

Pavel Livinsky: Our work deals with the city’s utility mains. Any city-level renovation project starts with relaying heat and power mains because it’s impossible to further improve our streets, courtyards and squares without completing this work. City residents can now see how wires are being placed underground, and how cable networks are being installed. We are doing this along all of Novy Arbat and Yakimanka streets. After the utility mains have been relocated, we start laying pavers, covering the streets with asphalt and installing lamps.

We can only start replacing obsolete and precarious lamps after the cable systems have been installed. Copies of 19th century lamps will be installed in some areas, and modern lamps elsewhere.

Our goal is to remove bundles of wires from the cityscape and to open up a clear and beautiful sky

Question: What are the advantages of eliminating overhead wires?

Pavel Livinsky: In the past, overhead wires stretched from pole to pole, unsightly bundles of wires accumulated from decade to decade, coiling around lamp posts. Our goal is to remove the wires from the cityscape and open up the sky. Nothing should detract from the perception of the city’s architectural image or distort it. In 2015, we installed underground cables along Neglinnaya and Myasnitskaya streets. You can go there and see how the city looks without the wires.

Question: Should people expect any power, heat or hot-water shutoffs while the utility mains are being moved underground?

Pavel Livinsky: There will be no shutoffs during these My Street programme’s  jobs. Heating mains are shut off each summer, and hot water is shut off stage by stage for conducting hydraulic and pressure tests. These tests can identify possible weak spots prior to the heating season. Hot water is shut off for no more than ten days. We use a system of bypass pipelines while relaying heating mains. These pipelines can isolate any repaired section without shutting off the entire system. And we use reserve heat supply routes in some cases.

Question: What is the total route length of the utility mains due to be placed underground this year?

Pavel Livinsky: In all, 950 kilometres of various utility mains will be moved underground throughout 2016. We are extending the service life of pipelines because this makes it possible to conduct routine maintenance, repairs and renovation without digging up the streets. So we’ll service 430 kilometres of cable. The total length of the utility mains will be about 2,350 kilometres.

Question: How long will the new utility mains last, and when will the new cable lines need to be repaired?

Pavel Livinsky: The new cable lines have a rated service life of 50 years.

In all, 149 buildings will receive new façade lighting

Question: Mr Livinsky, can you tell us where the current façade lighting is and where the new ones will be?

Pavel Livinsky: About 1,500 city buildings have façade lighting now. As a rule, this lighting is located along the main boulevards and in central Moscow. We light up tall buildings at night, including important administrative buildings, historical landmarks and architectural treasures, like the Pashkov House, the State Duma building and the Moscow City Hall. Façade lighting is also located on some radial routes. In 2015, we installed new lighting on 261 buildings, and 149 building facades will be illuminated this year. These lights will appear at locations under the My Street programme. For example, beautiful lighting will be installed on buildings along Boulevard Ring, Nikitsky, Romanov and Krestovozdvizhensky pereuloks, illuminating them at night.

Question: How many new street lamps will the city receive under the My Street programme?

Pavel Livinsky: A total of 2,200 streetlamps will be installed. We’ll use ordinary lamps, pole-base lamps and hanging lamps, depending on specific street renovation projects. Lamps with large multi-burner lighting, developed by architect Innokenty Melchakov, will remain on Pushkinskaya Square alone and will only be upgraded, rather than replaced. Vintage lamps, modern replicas of 19th century gas and gas-potassium streetlamps, will be installed on Kremlyovskaya Embankment, on Znamenka, Vozdvizhenka, and Okhotny Ryad streets and on Teatralny Proyezd. The Moscow Lights Museum has provided prototypes for the replicas. You can already see modern and special-purpose streetlamps near the Central Children’s Store on Kuznetsky Most Street. The new streetlamps are shock-proof and vandal-resistant.

We installed 3,400 streetlamps last year. This is more than was installed since early 2016 because we had to light up the city’s radial routes. We are now mostly renovating streets in central Moscow where there is no need to replace so many lamps.

Question: Where exactly will you install the 19th century replicas in 2016?

Pavel Livinsky: They will be installed on Voznesensky, Gazetny, Krestovozdvizhensky, Kalashny, Romanov and Starovagankovsky pereuloks, and Manezhnaya Street, Borovitskaya Square, Malaya Dmitrovka and Mokhovaya streets and the Kremlyovskaya Embankment.

LED lamps have some obvious advantages: They consume eight to ten times less power than incandescent-filament lamps and 1.5 times less than sodium-vapour lamps

Question: Do you only install energy-saving lamps?

Pavel Livinsky: Yes, we only use energy-saving lamps. The rated colour temperature is 2,700-2,800 kelvin. This light is easy on the human eye, and the colour rendition index is 80 Ra. These lamps do not create any dark spots for pedestrians or drivers, nor do they cause any blinding glare. LED and metal-halide lamps meet our specifications. We use them to illuminate streets and roads and also the buildings. LED lamps have a service life ten to 20 years, much longer than incandescent.

The installation of energy-saving lamps makes it possible to illuminate additional city districts each year, and our power-generating expenses remain the same. We are using these energy-saving lamps a lot, and 15,000 local courtyards have been equipped with them over the past few years.

We install lamps emitting a pleasant yellow glow on city streets, and white lamps will be used at city entrances

Question: This year, new lamps will be installed in central Moscow and at city gateways where radial routes intersect with the Moscow Ring Road. What will they look like?

Pavel Livinsky: City entrances are Moscow’s calling card. Therefore improvements include new slopes, new asphalt surfaces and pavers, curbstones, the improvement of street pavement structures and illumination. We’re installing lamps with a pleasant yellow glow on city streets, and white lamps will be used at city entrances. Surface utility mains will be placed underground in nearby areas. We’ll use special lamps to illuminate trees and shrubs. We are currently studying the possibility of installing obelisks with LED screens at all entrances to the city. But the final decision has not yet been made on this issue.