SIMFEROPOL, May 16. /TASS/. Almost 14,000 vehicles crossed the Crimean Bridge opened on Wednesday during 12 hours of its operation and surpassed the earlier record of the Kerch Strait ferry line, the Crimean Bridge information center said on Wednesday.
"The traffic between two shores hit the absolute daily record of the Kerch Strait ferry line during first 12 hours from the Crimean bridge opening. Over 7,000 vehicles traveled to Crimea and more than 6,700 went to Kuban over the Crimean Bridge by 7 pm. Hence, over 14,000 motor vehicles crossed the bridge in total to both sides.
The Kerch Strait ferry line showed the absolute record in its operation in August 2017, when it carried almost 13,000 vehicles in both destinations, the information center says.
"Preliminary forecasts of specialists show that traffic intensity may reach 12-13 thousand automobiles per day after commissioning the Crimean Bridge motorway. Such peak loads were predicted for first months after the Crimean Bridge opening because of the interest in the unique facility in the Kerch Strait and customarily during the vacation season. Motor traffic between the Kuban region and Crimea is anticipated to surge by 35-40% in total during the first year of the Crimean Bridge operation," the information center reports.
The motorway section of Russia’s longest bridge, the Crimean Bridge, opened for vehicles on Wednesday morning. So far, only vehicles with the weight not exceeding 3.5 tonnes are allowed to cross the bridge. Passenger buses, taking tourists to Crimea during the high season, will be exempt from those restrictions, but truck drivers will have to use the ferry line until October.
The bridge connecting Crimea to the Russian mainland by road and rail, is the longest in the country and one of the largest in Europe. Its span stretches across 19 kilometers.
The construction and installation of the bridge kicked off in February 2016. The project’s total value is almost 228 billion rubles. The Crimean Bridge originates on the Taman Peninsula, runs through a five-kilometer dike area and the Island of Tuzla, then crosses the Kerch Strait and reaches the Crimean coast.