Reuters learned of the postponement of the opening of the railway bridge in the Crimea

The construction of transport crossing through the Kerch Strait, March 2016

The construction of the railway segment of the transport passage across the Kerch Strait to Crimea will be completed later than scheduled, Reuters has learned. In response to the request of the Agency the Agency representative stated that the terms were changed, and the train segment will not take effect until the end of 2019.

In a statement earlier dates mentioned were described as “preliminary,” says Reuters. In the message of Federal road Agency dated 18 February 2015 on the signing of the state contract for the construction of the bridge said: “the opening of the car traffic in the operating mode and the start of the temporary use of constructed railway lines, according to the decree of the RF Government, should take place in December 2018, and the putting into operation and completion of the state contract is scheduled for 30.06.2019”.

Reuters obtained the statement noted that construction of the railway bridge requires more time and is technically more difficult than the construction of a road bridge, because it needs to withstand more weight and to be equipped with special signaling equipment. “Because of this, the bridge builders will need a little more time on the construction of the railway segment and the movement of trains is scheduled to begin before the end of 2019”, — stated in the answer of the Federal road Agency.

In mid-March during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the construction of bridge to Crimea’s Minister of transport Maxim Sokolov said: “Winter railway traffic to Crimea is small, so the first thing we’ll open it up to vehicular traffic December 2018, as was indicated, and second rate, in 2019, will be already opened railway”.

The head of state said: “Railway traffic, Railways no, but if she is, then the ports will operate differently, then traffic will”.

Ivan Edelev, who heads the administration of the Taman, the nearest settlement to the construction site of the bridge from the Krasnodar region, told Reuters that, in his opinion, the builders had no idea what they came from. “The initial plan was that the together to make rail and road,” he said. “But then, I think they figured the amounts, assessed their strength and decided to change the plan.”

The government contract for the construction of transport crossing in the Crimea received the company “stroygazmontazh”, owned by Arkady Rotenberg. Its cost amounted to 228,3 billion rubles For the project “stroygazmontazh” is engaged in the construction of gas pipelines and related infrastructure, has established a subsidiary company “SGM-Bridge”. It was headed by Alexander Ostrovsky that was previously in Mostotrest.