The new bridge link connecting mainland Russia and the Crimean Peninsula is proving to be a huge hit with Russian drivers.
The Crimean Bridge has broken another single-day record for car traffic, with 32,000 vehicles crossing the span on Sunday. About 1.6 million cars have crossed the bridge since it opened in May. This is 20 percent higher than vehicle transport using the Kerch ferry, which had been the only way to get to the peninsula from Russia by car.
Currently, the bridge is open for cars only, but freight transport will start this fall. The railway section of the Crimean Bridge is scheduled to be completed next year.
Summer is usually the peak period for the Crimean peninsula as tourists from all across Russia and neighboring states go there on holiday. Crimea expects as many as six million tourists this year.
As traffic across the bridge grows, the Russian government is considering building a highway and tunnel system across the Crimean Peninsula liked to the new crossing. The largest metro construction firm in the country, Mosmetrostroy, is looking to build a tunnel in the Crimea which would resemble Moscow’s ring-road. The new highway will speed up traffic across the Crimean Bridge.
At 19 kilometers long, the Crimean Bridge is the longest in Europe. It begins on the Taman Peninsula, passes over a 5km 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.