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The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

M56 Lena Highway or The Amur-Yakutsk Highway – a federal highway in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Russia, connecting Yakutsk with the south. It takes its name from the mighty Lena River that runs more or less north-south in this part of Siberia. Actually, with Yakutsk situated entirely on the west bank of Lena, and the road running on the east bank, the highway terminates in Nizhny Bestyakh, a settlement of 4,000 people opposite Yakutsk on the east bank of Lena.

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway Map

The road runs 1,212 kilometres south to Newer. It was built in stages between 1925 and 1964. Although it is a federal highway, it is just a dirt road.

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

When frozen in the winter, this makes for an excellent surface, and the posted speed limit is 70 kilometres per hour. However, in the summer, with any significant rain, the road turns to impassible mud that often swallows whole smaller vehicles.

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

These shots are made a few days before the traffic jam of 600 cars that got stuck there. Hunger and lack of fuel followed, according to the witnesses. One woman gave birth to a child right in the public bus she was riding.

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

Construction teams afraid to appear on a site because during their previous visit they were beaten by people who had been stuck in the jam for a few days.
People were breaking locks on the trucks, in a search for food and warm clothes.

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

Fuel, food, firearms and steel tow-line are needed most during the rainy days on the Lena Highway.

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

The Russian Highway from Hell - Lena Highway

Driving upon these roads in summer when the snows have melted seems like a very stupid idea. But the authorities never even meant for the Lena Highway to be used in the summertime. Yakutsk can only be reached by ferry in the summer.

The road dead ends on the wrong side of Yakutsk and there is no bridge anywhere in the Sakha Republic that crosses the mighty Lena.

One is meant to be built 40 kilometres south of Yakutsk center between 2009 and 2013, a dual-use railroad/road span of some 3 kilometres in length.



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