The US$3.7bn Kerch Strait Bridge - also known as the Crimean Bridge - is 19km long and consists of parallel rail and road structures. The main span is a 227m arch, creating a navigation channel.
Putin led a convoy of lorries across the road bridge - driving one of them himself - during the inauguration ceremony. He congratulated the project team on completing the project ahead of schedule. “I want to thank this project’s organisers, who, without exaggeration, put national interests above their personal and collective needs,” he said. He thanked the bomb disposal engineers - who were the first to start work there - as well as the environmentalists, archaeologists, scientists, designers, engineers and construction workers. "More than 10,000 people are working at this construction site, and at peak times the number exceeded 15,000. Almost 220 contractor companies are involved. In fact, the whole country worked on this bridge," he said.
The railway section of the crossing is scheduled to open in late 2019.