Opening of Crimean Bridge motorway section 2018-05-15 15:15:00 Taman, Kerch Vladimir Putin took part in the opening ceremony of the Crimean Bridge motorway section and drove the lead vehicle of the construction equipment convoy. Vladimir Putin visited the Consolidated Traffic Management Centre and heard reports on the readiness of utility teams to operate the transport route across the Kerch Strait. The head of state also spoke briefly with the builders of the bridge, thanked them and congratulated them on completing the project ahead of schedule. After the construction equipment convoy crossed the bridge, the head of state addressed a rally marking the opening of the Crimean Bridge motorway. Over 10,000 people worked to complete the Crimean Bridge six months ahead of schedule. The motorway section of the bridge has over 60 road signs and ten automatic systems monitoring compliance with traffic regulations. The 19-kilometre Crimean Bridge is the longest bridge in Russia and Europe. It begins on the Taman Peninsula, passes over a five-kilometre dam and Tuzla Island, crosses the Kerch Strait and reaches the Crimean coast. Two-way automobile and public transit traffic via the Kerch Strait will be launched on May 16. The railway section of the bridge is scheduled to open in late 2019. * * * Speech at rally and concert Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends. My sincere congratulations on this wonderful event. This is a truly historic day because in different historical eras, including during the tsars’ reign, people dreamed of building this bridge. They came back to it in the 1930s, then the 1940s and the 1950s. Finally, thanks to your hard work and talents, this project, this miracle has come true. Thank you very much. I want to thank this project’s organisers, who, without exaggeration, put national interests above their personal and collective needs. I want to thank the bomb disposal engineers, who were the first to start working here, as we have just mentioned, as well as the environmentalists, archaeologists, scientists, designers, engineers and construction workers. More than 10,000 people are working at this construction site, and at peak times the number exceeded 15,000. Almost 220 contractor companies are involved. In fact, the whole country worked on this bridge. This is an excellent result that has made Crimea and the legendary Sevastopol stronger and brought us closer. The bridge will mean faster and greater progress for the economy of Crimea and Sevastopol, and will improve the quality of life here. We will continue to work on similar projects across the country. And when I say across the country, I mean it. We will build more roads, bridges, airports and ports. We will make our peoples’ lives better and more comfortable. And we will succeed by all means because we have outstanding and talented people like you. Congratulations to everybody and good luck. Thank you. You are the best people and the best builders. Thank you very much.