To be: Bridge connecting Russia’s south and Ukraine’s Crimea

Development, Russia May 7th, 2008

As reported by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS about a week ago, Russia and Ukraine have reached the agreement to build a bridge connecting Russia’s South and Crimea. I’ve written an article about plans for the Kerch Strait Bridge when they were announced by Ukrainian officials last year.

That announcement came short after Russian gov’t officially pledged to develop Sochi as round-year resort no matter how the Olympic bid goes. Many believe having this bridge will help Ukraine get some of the money Russia will pump into the south over the next decade. Anyways, both Russian and Ukrainian prime ministers have confirmed the agreement, and Ukrainian PM, Yulia Timoshenko, announced that the work on this project will start within days.

The first Kerch Strait Bridge connecting Krasnodar Krai and Crimea was built back in 1944, but was destroyed within a year by sea storms, and was never rebuilt. There are several projects for the new bridge in existence, valued between $700 million and one billion dollars.

As a separate, transportation related, piece of good news for Russia’s south – Russian government allocated extra money for reconstruction and maintenance of Russia’s roads. And the largest part of it – 86.7 billion rubbles ($3.7 bln), instead of originally planned 27 billion ($1.1 bln) just this year alone – will go into “Olympic” roads: М4 “Don”, connecting Moscow and Novorossiysk, and М27, DzhubgaSochi.