Russia’s 19km vehicle bridge between the Crimea and the Russian mainland will be open next month, says the company building it, and authorities say they are ready for terrorism and sabotage.
Leonid Ryzhenkin, deputy head of builder Stroygazmontazh, made the statement to Russian media yesterday, saying drivers could use the bridge by the second half of May, reports Construction.ru.
The bridge over the Kerch straits will be the longest in Europe.
Russian special services have reportedly established a land and air presence around the bridge to ward off what they say is a threat from Islamist and Ukrainian nationalist attacks.
The Kerch straits, showing the progress of the bridge in 2018 (Kremlin)
Alexander Bortnikov, director of Russia’s Federal Security Service, told the National Anti-Terror Service: "Manpower and resources have been prepared for coordinated actions in case of terror threats against erected facilities, including by supporters of radical ideologies, special services and nationalist organization of Ukraine that nourish an idea of sabotage attacks on Crimea peninsula."
Work to give Russia a land link with the Crimean peninsula started in 2016, following Russia’s annexation of the territory from Ukraine in 2014.
A second bridge, for rail traffic, will open in 2019.
Traffic on the bridge is expected to reach 40,000 cars a year.
Top image: The Kerch bridge under way in 2016 (Kremlin)