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GORNO-ALTAISK, September 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Work started in August to build a bridge across the Kerch Strait to link Crimea with the mainland, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
The Russian Railways company is making preparations. Ground work has already started near the construction site. The area is designated. It will be cleared of WWII-time shells if such are found. The work will be done together with Defense Ministry specialists.
The Russian government plans to build a large highway and railway bridge with tracks for trains to run in both directions. The construction is planned to be completed by December 16, 2018.
The project documentation to build about 42km of a railroad and about 40km of a highway has passed an examination by experts, the minister said. The railroad for its capacity is comparable to the Trans-Siberian line, he added.
Its capacity will allow transporting about 100 million tons of cargoes a year and a considerable number of passengers. There will be full infrastructure to meet the needs for the railway and road links between the peninsula and the rest part of the country, the minister added.
The cost of the Kerch bridge will amount to around 230 billion rubles (about $8.5 billion). The total length of the crossing will be 19km the bridge across the strait will be 6km long, and 6.5km of the road across the Tuzla Spit area and 6.5km across the dike.