Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin wants to build a superhighway that would link North America, Asia and Europe through Russia in what would become the longest highway in the world. The proposal for the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development, first reported by the Siberian Times, would also bring a new train network along the Trans-Siberian Railway, oil and gas pipelines, and lay the groundwork for electric and water supplies to remote regions in Russia.
But what’s not clear, as CNN pragmatically notes, is pretty much anything about how such a massive undertaking would work. Not only would Russia have to convince all its neighbors that this is a good idea, but it would also have to spend “trillions of dollars” to do it.
CNN estimates that the road would span about 8,064 miles. That’s an “estimate” because the report doesn’t some pretty relevant details about the route, including how the road would traverse the Bering Strait that separates Alaska and Russia. CNN guesses that the road would start “some distance north of the town of Nome” in Alaska, a town that’s 520 miles from the next major roadway that lies in Fairbanks, Canada.
“This is an inter-state, inter-civilization, project,” Yakunin told the Siberian Times. “It should be an alternative to the current (neo-liberal) model, which has caused a systemic crisis. The project should be turned into a world ‘future zone’, and it must be based on leading, not catching, technologies.’ I dunno, something about the words “inter-civilization” and “future zone” in context of a Trans-Siberian roadway sounds eerily similar to this…
(Photo: Garrett Ziegler)