Russia has awarded a $1.4bn contract to a Vinci Concessions-led consortium for a 43km section of the planned toll motorway between Moscow and St Petersburg.

The section connects the Km15 within the northwest suburbs of Moscow to Km58 of the old surface highway M10.

The consortium includes the North-West Concession Company, which will design, finance, construct and operate the section.

The section will reduce congestion on the existing M10 link between Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport and the city centre.

The concession contract spans 30 years with a possible five-year extension, starting from the first half of 2010.

Work will be carried out over 36 months.

The section is the first part of the country’s $6.3bn plan to build a 650km toll motorway between Moscow and St Petersburg with 34 interchanges and around 285 bridges.