KAZAN, October 25. /TASS/. Construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge that will link the Crimean peninsula with mainland Russia is more than 50% complete, according to the latest reports, Deputy Head of the Federal Road Agency Igor Astakhov said during his working trip to Kazan.
""The main objective for this year and next year is constructing the bridge across the Kerch Strait. More than 50% of (the construction - TASS) work on this object has already been completed," he noted.
More than 18 months have passed since the start of the bridge’s construction. Work is underway in all eight sea and land sections. Earlier, engineers installed the motorway and railway arches at the Kerch Strait Bridge.
"The key phases - hoisting the framework arches for both the motorway and railway sections - have been successfully completed. So, there are no doubts that traffic will be launched by the end of 2018, and Crimea and the city of Sevastopol will be tightly connected by a motorway network to our country’s mainland," Astakhov added. He reiterated that "more than 40 km of access roads to the highway bridge are being constructed" in Crimea and in the Krasnodar Region along with the bridge’s construction.
The construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge is being bankrolled from the federal budget under the state target program known as: "The social and economic development of the Crimean Region and the city of Sevastopol by 2020" without extra-budgetary funding. The bridge’s span will stretch across 19 kilometers.
Construction and installation of the bridge kicked off in February 2016. The project’s price tag comes to about 228 bln rubles ($3.9 bln), and 60% of this sum has already been financed (144 bln rubles ($2.5 bln).
The bridge will open to automobile and rail traffic, in December 2018 and in December 2019, respectively.
According to information provided in mid-autumn, almost 167 bln rubles ($2.9bln) (almost 75% of the contract sum) had been shelled out on the bridge’s construction since the state contract was signed in February 2015.