Kremlin: Russia to open the highway section of the Kerch Strait bridge by summer

Russia is going to open the highway section of the bridge across the Kerch Strait by summer 2018, according to the Kremlin’s official website.

On Wednesday, March 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited a portion of the construction site that will connect the Russian-annexed Crimea with the Taman Peninsula. The road portion of the bridge is scheduled for delivery completion by December 2018, but during discussions with the builders, Putin said that the road could be opened as early as May.

"Of course, people would like to use it in the summer season. Although access roads are still needed, the road workers are working properly ... It remains only to equip, as I understand, the road, equip the layout, [and] put in asphalt concrete. That is not the most difficult work," Putin said.

Commissioning of the railway section of the bridge is scheduled for the end of 2019.

According to the Institute Giprostroymost - St. Petersburg [Russian company engaged in design of the Kerch Bridge], the bridge crossing the Kerch Strait will consist of parallel road and railway sections. The road will consist of four lanes, and have a speed limit of 120 kilometers per hour. The bridge’s capacity is anticipated to be 40,000 cars per day.

The railway will also include two tier two railway lines, each with a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour. The estimated speed of passenger trains that will cross the bridge is 120 kilometers per hour; freight trains are expected to average 80 kilometers per hour.

The bridge will begin on the Taman Peninsula and pass through an existing five-kilometer dam before reaching the island of Tuzla, after which it will cross the Kerch Strait, skirting Cape Ak-Burun from the north. The length of the crossing will be 19 kilometers. The length of the arched span of the bridge will be 227 meters; the height of the navigable arch will be 35 meters.

  Kerch Strait Bridge, Crimea, Russia