If this imbalance persists, huge financial investments in the creation of a bridge are at risk of being "dead". Traffic jams will occur both at the entrance and at the exit. These problems were discussed at a meeting of the State Council Presidium in Kerch.
According to Vladimir Putin, the construction of the bridge is proceeding at a good pace, but it is necessary to prepare road and rail approaches to it at a qualitative level, to provide all the related infrastructure from the Krasnodar Territory and in the Crimea. Moreover, the president noted that “the volume of freight traffic is growing, but the railway system in the direction of the ports of the Black Sea basin is actually at the limit of its capabilities. Motorways are overloaded, the potential of inland water transport is used poorly. "
Alarming trends in the development of freight traffic in this region began to manifest as early as the end of the 70s. But it seems that due conclusions were not made. For 30 years and more, projects to create a network of railways, ports, and ferries, designed to simplify and accelerate the transport and economic ties of Crimea with the Great Land, have been left without movement. We emphasize: today's problems associated with transportation between the peninsula and other regions of the country, experts foresaw in 50 – 60-ies. Therefore, those projects were developed.
For obvious reasons, after the receipt of the Khrushchev's gift, the leadership of the Ukrainian SSR had little interest in the development of economic ties and, accordingly, the transport arteries between the Crimea and the RSFSR. Hardly anything has changed since 1991, except for the numerous declarations of intent ...
Anyway, there are still no, for example, connections between steel highways that provide the shortest connection between the Black Sea-Azov, including the Crimean, and the Caspian-Lower Volga ports of the Russian Federation. Although many of these arteries were planned in the first half - mid 50-s, designed in the middle 70-x. We are talking, in particular, about the railways in the Krasnodar Azov region - to the port of Temryuk adjacent to the Crimea (northeast of Taman), about the Slavyansk-on-Kuban railroad - the port of Achuyevo. By the way, this last one, planned in the first half of the 50s, has not been built yet either.
There are projects of the Transazh ferry lines connecting the Kerch area with the ports of Yeisk and Taganrog. The creation of such crossings was not once proposed in 60 – 70's by experts of the Institute of Complex Transport Problems under the USSR State Planning Committee.
It is necessary to take into account the increase in the capacity of existing railways. Firstly, in the Azov region of the Krasnodar Territory adjacent to the Crimea. Secondly, those sections of the railway network (mainly in its central part) that “take out” transportation, including from the Crimea, to the steel trunk roads of the North Caucasus and the Caspian-Lower Volga region of the country. As we were taught at MIIT and other transport universities, all issues of this kind should be solved in parallel, synchronously, and not dispersed over the years, especially for indefinite periods. For the national economy demands not a “fragmentary”, but an integral transport and economic system, in this case - the south of Russia. It, as domestic and global practice shows, cannot be limited only to a bridge across the Kerch Strait.
Meanwhile, the transport of goods between the Crimea and other regions of the country, according to available data, if growing, then slowly. And the problem is not only in ultra-high load on the ferry. But, again, in the absence of high-gauge railways and highways, and in the congestion of the transport network in the neighboring districts of the Krasnodar Territory.
For the same reasons, timely delivery to the Crimea of various products from other regions of the Russian Federation is becoming increasingly difficult. Recall that the transport and economic ties of Crimea with other regions of Russia have not only economic, but also geopolitical significance.
Kerch railway bridge in 1944 year.
In short, an integrated approach to all these issues is not yet visible, and hence, in fact, the expected problems at the entrance and exit.
As Vladimir Putin noted at the meeting of the Presidium of the State Council in Kerch, five billion rubles have been added to the road construction in Crimea. “Total for the year was 18 billion rubles. This is in principle solid means. We could also add, but the matter is not in volumes, but in how these resources are developed. ”
At least two-fold increase in cargo traffic in both directions due to the bridge will significantly accelerate the socio-economic development of the peninsula, but also dramatically increase the load on the railways of Crimea. Especially those that adjoin the bridge in Kerch, that is, to the eastern Crimea. In this area, there is only one railway (Kerch-Vladislavovka) with a low-capacity branch to the nearby Feodosia port.
An interesting detail: there is still no shortest route from Vladislavovka, that is, there is no direct rail link to other regions of Crimea: the main line goes to the northeast of the peninsula, to Dzhankoy. And already from there it descends to Simferopol, Sevastopol, Evpatoria. The excess distance that cargoes have to travel along such a trans-Crimean route exceeds 250 kilometers. And this not only increases the cost of transportation, but also is fraught with road clots in the East Crimean region adjacent to the bridge.
It requires not just an increase in the carrying capacity of all the Crimean railways, but also emphasize the creation of the direct railway Vladislavovka - Simferopol, which was again planned at the beginning of the 50-s.
The construction of this line was planned after March 2014, but already in 2015, its creation was attributed to the period before 2030. But the bridge across the strait is planned to be commissioned eight to nine years earlier ...
In general, all the above-mentioned projects stem from the pre-revolutionary, Soviet, and even from the global practice of creating and operating highways similar to the Crimean bridge. If it is not supplemented by a branched, not overloaded network of adjacent arteries and ports, then the enormous money in its construction may well be literally buried in the ground. This can turn into much more complex problems - not only transport ones - in the whole south of Russia.
The first projects of a permanent transport passage through the Kerch Strait refer to the period of the Crimean Khanate.
By the year 1940, the USSR had designed a railway from Kherson to the port of Poti (Georgia) through the Kerch Strait. The project was not implemented due to the Great Patriotic War.
In 1943, the German troops built a pontoon bridge across the strait. Berlin demanded to build a permanent bridge, but the Nazis were driven out of the territory before the project appeared.
In 1944, after the liberation of the Crimea, the Kerch railway bridge was built in seven months. Its length was 4,5 kilometers, width - 22 meters. But at the end of February 1945, due to weather conditions, almost all the pillars of the bridge were destroyed.
In 1949, the Ministry of Railway Transport prepared a draft of a two-tier transport junction for rail and road transport, parallel to the Crimea-Caucasus ferry. The project was approved in 1951, but in the spring 1953 was suspended ...
After 1991, about 20 transport link projects across the strait were developed. But their debugging was prevented by disputes over the Russian-Ukrainian border and Kiev’s persistent unwillingness to strengthen the economic ties between Crimea and Russia. In addition, the Tuzla Spit in the middle of the strait was blurred and became an island, cut off from Taman in 70, which technically made it difficult to build a bridge. In 2003, the Russian Federation began to restore the spit with an artificial dam. But this led to a dispute between Ukraine and Russia over Tuzla’s affiliation. Construction of the dam ceased.
In October, the Crimean Prime Minister Anatoly Burdyugov announced 2005 that a project of an underground passage through the Kerch Strait was being studied in Crimea, and in 2006, the Ukrainian Ministry of Transport was preparing bridge projects. But all this was frozen by Kiev on the pretext of the unsettled border between the Russian Federation and Ukraine in the strait.
21 April 2010, the presidents of Russia and Ukraine signed the Kharkiv agreements, which noted the feasibility of building a bridge. In 2011 – 2012, the Ukrainian authorities ordered the development to continue, but on condition that the bridge belonged to Ukraine.