Russia begins installation of railway arch on Kerch Bridge

The builders of the Kerch Bridge that will connect Russia with the Crimea have begun the first stage of the project to transport and install a railway arch weighing more than six thousand tons in the Kerch Strait, as reported by RIA Novosti.

It was noted that the day before, the builders had prepared the arch and loaded it on floating platforms.

"Early in the morning the process of transporting the arch to the bridge began. The arch will be transported five kilometers from the shore and more than ten vessels and more than 100 people will participate in this part of the project. The sailors will then place the floating system into a site between the fairway supports and fix it with anchor cables. After this, the arch will be secured with almost 700 high-strength cables, which will be attached to the arch by 16 lifting jacks. The arch will be lifted to the projected height at an average speed of five meters per hour, after which it will be fixed by wind connectors to the crossbars of the fairway supports," the Crimean Bridge information center reported.

It is noted that the installation of the railway arch into the fairway will be completed within 72 hours. Navigation in the Kerch Strait will be limited during this period.

When the builders confirm the reliability of the archway attachment, the movement of vessels can resume as normal. The final assembly of the arch onto the fairway supports will take another month.

The 19km Kerch Bridge is expected to be open to automobile traffic in December 2018.

Russia previously banned the movement of all kinds of vessels across the Kerch Strait, except ships of the Russian Navy, and ships of the federal security agencies of the Russian Federation.

  Kerch Strait Bridge, Crimea, Russia