The Crimean Bridge (transport crossing over the Kerch Strait)

The Crimean Bridge (transport crossing over the Kerch Strait)

The year 2019 marked the completion of the century’s most ambitious construction initiative – the Crimean Bridge linking the Taman and Kerch shores. STROYGAZMONTAZH executed this challenging project in the shortest possible timeline by using unique technology solutions.

Client: Taman Federal Highway Agency
Total length: 19 km
Over water length: over 7 km

Traffic capacity:
  • up to 40 thousand vehicles per day
  • up to 47 train pairs per day
Completion date: 2019 (highway opening date: 2018)

This transport bridge crossing over the Kerch Strait is the longest bridge in Europe and one of the largest structures of its kind in the world.

The two parallel bridges – one a four-lane motor road and one a double-track railway – link the Crimean coast and the Taman Peninsula, passing over stretches of open water and running along Tuzla Island and the Tuzla Spit. Opening the crossing helped ensure reliable communication between the Russian mainland and the peninsula, including deep sea ports. This development enhanced investment and tourism opportunities in the region. An arched navigable span 227 meters long and 35 meters high is installed above the Kerch-Yenikale Canal, a maritime shipping path.

The path and design for the crossing were selected based on multiple factors, such as the presence of mixed heterogeneous soils in the seabed, seismic activity and environmental considerations. It was also crucial to keep the ferry passage operational for the duration of the bridge’s construction. The final project successfully addressed all these issues. The bridge was built to bypass tectonic fault zones and mud volcanoes and preserve major natural and historical sites without disrupting operation of existing infrastructure.

The construction’s unparalleled engineering solutions enabled a considerable safety margin and seismic resistance for the bridge structures. Building the bridge’s 595 pillars used more than 7000 piles of three different types: prismatic, bored and tubular. Some of the piles were driven in at an angle to ensure better stability for the pillars.

Construction was carried out on a massive scale – at eight sites simultaneously and along the entire length of the crossing. The project required erecting temporary infrastructure in the form of three technical bridges, spanning more than 5 km, which allowed builders to continue work despite harsh weather conditions, even frequent gale-force winds. Other temporary structures included bypasses for cargo deliveries, four concrete mixing plants and berthing facilities for unloading materials and components. These efforts ensured a high construction rate and uninterrupted supply chains.