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Russia green lights road and rail bridge to Crimea

Published time: March 19, 2014 18:26
Edited time: March 19, 2014 19:37
Kerch Strait shore.
(RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)

Kerch Strait shore. (RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)

The long delayed Kerch Strait Bridge project, which would connect the Crimean peninsula and mainland Russia, has been given a green light, with President Putin saying the bridge would provide both road and rail links.

Vladimir Putin held a meeting with members of the government on Wednesday in order to discuss transport links with the Crimea, a day after the treaty of accession of the republic to the Russian Federation was signed.

“We need both automobile and railway bridges,” the President said about the Kerch Strait Bridge.
Putin’s proposal received the full backing from Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov, who stressed that the government has already agreed on the feasibility study for the project.

The survey will take place this year, with several proposals for the bridge ready by the end of 2014, he added.

According to the minister, the bridge over the Kerch Strait isn’t the only option as the government is also considering a tunnel under the Kerch straight.

Meanwhile, this summer ferries will be used to bring tourists to the Crimean resorts, Sokolov told the President.

Transport between Russia and the Crimean peninsula “is currently implemented without any setbacks by all means of transport,” including a daily train service and three flights from Moscow, the minister said.

Sokolov added that the Russian airline Aeroflot planes now fly to Crimea over Ukrainian territory without any restrictions.

But there’s an alternative corridor for them in Russia in case the self-proclaimed authority in Ukraine decides to close its airspace, he assured.

The Kerch Straight Bridge was initially built in the summer 1944 after the liberation of the Crimea by the Red Army.

But the 4.5 kilometer structure was destroyed within six months by ice due to the absence of breakwaters.

The idea of a Kerch Strait Bridge was back on the agenda after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but Russia and Ukraine failed to find common ground on the issue.

In February, the coup-imposed government in Kiev froze talks about the construction of the bridge with Moscow.

Previously, Sokolov said that the building the Kerch Strait Bridge would take three and a half years and require at least 50 billion rubles (around $1.4 billion) of investment.

It would shorten the route from the Ukrainian city of Kherson to Novorossiysk in Russia by 450 kilometers, he added.

Comments (9)

 

Free_DrVojislavSeselj 05.04.2014 17:36

Is this new bridge going to be called Krimsky?? I hope so.

Russia is going through a sort of renaissance in a number of fields including construction and transport infrastructure like the Russky Bridge in Vladivostok.
Lik e everything else positive in Russia, it's a non-story in so much of the NATO world - it's just the biggest cable-stayed bridge in the world.

I'm a bit surprised nobody is advocating the tunnel idea here instead. It's a very attractive idea as well given that Crimea's needs for road and rail links will be much greater in the future than many are predicting.

 

Hooda Thawtit 04.04.2014 22:57

'BIG-ONE5' time='19.03.2014 16:13']A temporary military portable bridge. could be set in a week. Until the permanent, hopefuly state of the art bridge is done.
---
I take it that a bridge would be built at the end of the M25 (E97) where the present ferry is? This would need to be tall to allow the passage of tall ships, very much like the Queen Elizabeth 11 Bridge at Dartford, which, coincidentally, carries our M25 over the Thames! But with the hazard of ice as well, a tunnel will also be needed, just as we have a Dartford Tunnel under the Thames! Perhaps we could do the "twinning" thing.

 

James Reese 21.03.2014 19:03

Construction of infrastructure is great for the economy as it also creates jobs. I wish the US govt would consider this method of helping the economy rather than fighting more wars.

View all comments (9)
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