Historical "project: how Putin opened the Crimean bridge

President Vladimir Putin opened a regular automobile traffic along the Crimean bridge that connects the mainland with the peninsula. The main problem at first may be traffic jams, especially at the approaches to the bridge, experts warn.
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The bridge took

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, May 15, took part in the opening ceremony of the Crimean bridge, which connected the peninsula with the mainland of Russia. He drove across the bridge at the wheel of KamAZ at the head of a column of trucks that were used for the construction of the bridge. After the trip in response to a question from a correspondent of RBC, what impressions he had, he said "Super!".

Later, the president addressed the workers at a rally-concert and called this day historic. "Historical - because in different historical epochs, even under the tsar-father, people dreamed of building this bridge, then returned to it in the 30s of the last century, in the 40s, in the 50s and now Finally, thanks to your work, your talent, this project, this miracle happened, "he said. For the first time the idea of ​​building a bridge arose in the XIX century, when the British for the connection of Great Britain with India in 1870 paved the cable between Taman and Kerch. Then Nicholas II returned to her, but his plans were prevented by the First World War.

On March 19, 2014, the day after the Crimea joined Russia, Putin stated the need to build an automobile and railway bridge across the Kerch Strait. In August of the same year it was reported that the construction of this bridge can be entrusted to Stroytransgaz by Gennady Timchenko. But the businessman himself denied this, explaining that he refused to build the bridge because of the high risks of the project. January 30, 2015, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree according to which Arcadia Rotenberg was appointed the general contractor for the construction of the bridge. The project cost was 228.3 billion rubles. The bridge is being built at the expense of the federal budget within the framework of the federal target program "Social and economic development of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol until 2020".

The length of the Crimean bridge is 19 km, it is the longest in Russia. Construction began in February 2016, traffic on the automobile part will open on May 16 at 05:30 Moscow time, but so far with restrictions for trucks (these restrictions do not apply to construction equipment). "There is still a launch of the freight route - in the fall it will be done, I have no doubt, and in a year - the railway," Putin said. The head of "Rosavtodor" (bridge customer) Roman Starovoit specified that the cargo traffic is planned to open from October 1. According to him, movement on the bridge will be free. The

"Traffic can not be avoided"

The commissioning of the bridge will dramatically increase the level of investment attractiveness of the region, the head of the Crimea, Sergei Aksenov, wrote on his Facebook page in March 2018 after Putin visited the construction site. According to him, the tourist flow can increase to 8-10 million people a year. In 2017, according to the Ministry of Resorts and Tourism of the Crimea, on the peninsula rested about 5.4 million people, which is 3.2% less than in 2016. At the same time, in the previous two years (2015-2016) the tourist flow grew by 20-25% annually.

Head of Rosturism Oleg Safonov on Tuesday, May 15, called the opening of the automobile traffic along the Crimean bridge "an epoch-making event" for the development of tourism on the peninsula, because it "simplifies the opportunity to reach the peninsula a large number of Russian citizens." In his estimate, in 2018 the number of tourists on the peninsula will increase by no less than 1 million people and will exceed 6 million people.

The opening of the Crimean bridge will increase the flow of tourists to the Crimea by at least 30%, said the general director of Pegas Touristik Anna Podgornaya. She expects this to happen both at the expense of independent tourists, and at the expense of those who buy tours from companies. The growth of the tourist flow will ensure, first of all, automobile traffic from the nearest densely populated regions, noted Deputy Director General of STC Intourist Sergey Tolchin.

The maximum permitted speed of the bridge will be 90 km / h, and the throughput - 40 thousand cars per day. According to the forecast of Rosavtodor, for the year about 14 million cars can pass through the bridge. But in the case of a large influx of tourists, traffic jams can not be avoided, especially on the approaches to the bridge, Mikhail Blinkin, director of the Transport Economics and Transport Policy Institute at the Higher School of Economics, told RBC: "We have a four-lane bridge, there are approaches to the bridge that are already much narrower two-lane".

In mid-March, the Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov spoke about the risks of traffic congestion due to the reconstruction of the Tavrida highway, which connects the bridge with Sevastopol. "The first stage of reconstruction will be completed by the end of this year. In full - in four-band performance - Tavrida will open in 2020, so you can predict that this season, if the bridge opens earlier, then, of course, traffic jams on Taurida will not be avoided, "he noted.

May 15, the Ministry of resorts and tourism of Crimea issued recommendations to tourists in connection with the opening of the Crimean bridge. The Office has developed schemes for detours in areas of alleged traffic jams, indicating equipped parking spaces for sightseeing buses and motorists. "The opening of the Crimean bridge is a landmark event for the history of the Crimea, which predictably will increase the tourist flow to the peninsula. However, in the next season the load on the existing roads will increase and there will be a number of restrictions related to the construction of the federal highway Tavrida," the ministry said.

Reaction of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko reacted sharply to the launch of the Crimean bridge. "The bridge will be necessary for the invaders when they leave our Crimea urgently," he wrote on his Facebook page. He called this bridge "another evidence of disregard for international law by the Kremlin" and promised that Ukraine would "consistently defend its positions," including in international courts.