Workers have recently completed the primary construction of the road section, and are now laying asphalt, installing guardrails and lampposts.
According to the schedule, the road section of the Crimean Bridge is to be opened for traffic in December 2018, while the railway section is to be opened in late 2019. The new bridge will become a seamless transport link between Crimea and mainland Russia.
With a total length of 19 km, the Crimean Bridge will be the longest bridge in Russia and Europe. It consists of parallel road and railway sections. The bridge starts at the Taman Peninsula, runs along the 5-km long dam and Tuzla Island, crosses the Kerch Strait and ends on the coast of Crimea.
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Deputy Director General for Infrastructure Projects at Stroygazmontazh (contractor in the Crimean Bridge construction project) Leonid Ryzhenkin: Here we have people who have worked at this construction site from day one. They come from Tyumen, Nizhny Novgorod, and central Russia – everyone who joined the construction at its early stages.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: So, you have specialists from all over the country here. It is an interesting site. Looks formidable. As far as I understand, you will finish construction even ahead of schedule. You planned to finish at the end of the year, didn’t you?
Leonid Ryzhenkin: Yes, the motor road should open in late December.
Vladimir Putin: So, are you saying it will be ready by May?
Leonid Ryzhenkin: We are doing our best…
Vladimir Putin: It would be nice if people could use it during the summer. Although, the access roads will still need to be built, road workers still have work to do.
Well, I can say that it is an impressive sight. You are doing a great job. This project is unparalleled not only in our country. I think there are few similar projects worldwide.
I was just told how it was necessary to finish everything within theoe 72 hours and to put an anchor in place. It is complicated work. I congratulate you on completing this phase.
I hope that everything will be seen to the end, as planned, on time and maybe even ahead of schedule and with good workmanship. Great job. I wish you every success.
Is it possible to use this unfinished road to go from bank to bank?
Leonid Ryzhenkin: Yes.
Vladimir Putin: It remains only to finish the motor road, to place the road marks, and to pave it with asphalt concrete. This is not the hardest part of the job. Although the second part, which involves the railway, will require a lot of effort. Is it planned for 2019?
Leonid Ryzhenkin: Correct. The railway is planned for late 2019. Can you hear the sound of the poles for the railway being hammered in?
Crimea is straight ahead, a stone's throw away. Just a little bit is left.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.
Remark: Mr President, at some point I was lucky enough to participate in the construction of the Baikal-Amur Mainline. I remember the builders of that time with their enthusiasm, hope and faith. But then, unfortunately, there came a period where no one seemed to need it.
The Olympics in Sochi – an undertaking of major proportions – was the first one that gave us faith and hope. The Crimean Bridge is Russia’s second similarly important landmark construction project.
Thank you, Mr President, for this glorious, significant project and the opportunity to make it a reality.
I believe the Crimean Bridge is critically important for Russia and gives hope and faith in the future prosperity and strength of our country.
Vladimir Putin: This project was in the works back in tsarist Russia. Work on it was underway when WWI broke out and foiled those plans.
Another attempt was made in the 1930s, but did not go through, either. More attempts were made later, but to no avail. Now, you made it happen, which is great.
Congratulations. I hope there will be another opportunity to congratulate you on finishing the entire site, but what has already been done is impressive.
Audience: I hope you will come to attend the opening of the motor bridge?
Vladimir Putin: Yes, I will do my best to be here.