The Crimean Bridge
The bridge over the Kerch Strait (or the Crimean Bridge) with 19 km of parallel highway and double-track railroad is the longest in Russia and in Europe. Its construction started in February 2016 and as soon as May 16, 2018 the highway was officially opened. The builders crew – more than 10 thousand people from different regions of Russia – managed to finish the automobile part half a year ahead of schedule. The construction of railroad part of the bridge is currently under way. The scheduled date of bringing it into operation is December 1, 2019.
The Crimean Bridge is a 4-lane expressway with 40 thousand cars per day traffic capacity and allowed speed 90 km/h. The road traffic is controlled by the Automated Traffic Management System which consists of a number of subsystems monitoring road traffic, weather conditions, traffic flows and can detect emergency situations and other incidents.
The bridge doesn’t impede navigation as there are arch spans 227 meters wide and 35 meters high above the water surface.
DIFFICULT CLIMATIC CONDITIONS
The Kerch Strait has difficult geological and weather conditions and is situated in a seismic zone that’s why project decisions were made on the grounds of broad field and archive research work. For instance, in some places piles have been driven up to 90 meters deep as they had to befixed on stiff and solid ground. Earthquake-proof design also required the piles be erected not only vertically but also at a particular angle.
OPENING NEW DOORS
The bridge construction has allowed to provide Russian enterprises with work and settle employment issues in the Crimea and Kuban region. It has enabled all-year traffic flow with the peninsula and helped to develop tourist industry and trade, to increase efficiency of industrial companies at either coast, to galvanize business activity in the South of Russia and to increase its investment potential.
To preserve archeological objects and artefacts prior to the bridge construction we conducted large-scale work including hydroacustic and geomagnetic study of coastal territory (500 hectares of land and 200 hectares of water zone). During exploration works archeological expeditions headed by leading Russian scientists found and studied numerous artefacts including the remains of an old Roman villa, a Khazar settlement, a military camp of Tmutarakan Principality (dating back to X-XI centuries) and more that 80 burial sights. Thousands of historically important objects are now housed in Taman Museum. Offshore findings - hundreds of objects dating from V century B.C. to VI century A.D. – are still being studied or have been handed over to Kerch museum (Eastern-Crimean Historical and cultural Museum-Preserve).
STATE ECOLOGICAL EXPERTISE AND MONITORING
It was confirmed by the state ecological inspection that the project envisaged undertaking all necessary measures of bioresources, atmosphere, plant and animal life protection. Project decisions were also worked out by a special ecological expert committee of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.
In order to maintain ecological balance, we carried out control and monitoring activities taking either quarterly or monthly (depending on the subject of monitoring) samples of air and soil, conducted tests of seabed, made assessment of marine bioresources, avifauna, plant and animal life. Under the supervision of ecologists prior to the bridge construction we relocated into similar habitat 3 species of animals and 5 species of plants listed in Red List of Endangered Species of Krasnodarsky Region and 3 species of plants from Russian Red List.