The bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula with mainland Russia has had its first railroad line completed. The first train is expected to cross the newly built Crimean Bridge later this year.
It reportedly took 5,000 tons of tracks and 38,000 reinforced-concrete sleepers to build the 19km rail line, according to the Crimean Bridge press center.
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“The rail track has been laid toward each other from the banks of the Kerch Strait. Construction crews had been moving toward one another from both sides, and met on the arch of the bridge,” the statement says.
The final linking of the second railroad will be completed in the near future, according to the chairman of the board of directors of the construction company Stroygazmontazh, Arkady Rotenberg, who stressed that construction works are ahead of schedule.
The company is currently building a new Kerch-Yuzhnaya station with a fleet of tracks for freight, passenger and commuter trains.
At 19km long, the Crimean Bridge is the longest bridge in Europe. It begins on the Taman Peninsula, passes over a five-kilometer dam and Tuzla Island, crosses the Kerch Strait and reaches the Crimean coast. Before the bridge was built, the only connections between Crimea and the other parts of Russia were through ferry services and air traffic.
Last May, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially opened the motor-road part of the bridge.