Russia could build tunnel rather than bridge to Crimea

By bne IntelliNews October 31, 2014

bne -

 

Russia could build a tunnel to Crimea rather than a bridge as planned previously, following Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March 2014. 

Crimea has no land connection to Russia, but at one point is separated from Russia by the Kerch Straits, at the narrowest point only 3.1km wide, and reaching only 18 metres in depth. Plans to build a bridge from the Russian side to replace a ferry have been frequently mooted in the past, but never implemented. 

Russia's three year budget 2015-2017 now provides funding for a four-lane bridge with two railway lines costing RUB228bn ($5.6bn) including access roads.

But Russia's Crimean Affairs minister Oleg Savelyev said on October 30 that the Kremlin is also weighing up the building of a tunnel, which could be cheaper.

"I do not rule out the possibility of a principle change, such as a tunnel instead of a bridge, changes in the route that will be selected, among other things," Savelyev said. Savelyev added that the decision would be made on the grounds of cost and speed. "As soon as possible," Savelyev answered when asked for the expected date of the decision, as quoted by Interfax.

International consulting firm Vision Transportation Group, which is also advising Turkey on construction of the Mamaray tunnel project under the Bosphorus, has suggested building a tunnel, according to Russian officials cited by business daily Vedomosti.  According to the Vedomosti sources, a tunnel would cost only RUB80bn, not including road connections. Likewise Putin associate Gennady Timchenko, owner of infrastructure firm Stroitransgaz, has proposed building a tunnel for RUB40bn.

A further complicating factor in the deliberations is the possible future normalisation of relations with Ukraine, making either a bridge or tunnel unnecessary, since the land bridge to Crimea from Russia via Ukraine would be restored. At the same time, even a bridge or tunnel would substantially alleviate supply problems currently experienced by Crimea, says expert Nataliya Zubarevich, as quoted by Vedomosti.

A tunnel might also be preferable to a bridge on safety grounds, say experts. The Kerch Straits were hit by a severe storm as late as 2007 that caused a number of shipwrecks. The straits also freeze over in winter.

Related Articles

Drum rolls in the great disappearing act of Russia's banks

Jason Corcoran in Moscow - Russian banks are disappearing at the fastest rate ever as the country's deepening recession makes it easier for the central bank to expose money laundering, dodgy lending ... more

Kremlin: No evidence in Olympic doping allegations against Russia

bne IntelliNews - The Kremlin supported by national sports authorities has brushed aside "groundless" allegations of a mass doping scam involving Russian athletes after the World Anti-Doping Agency ... more

PROFILE: Day of reckoning comes for eccentric owner of Russian bank Uralsib

Jason Corcoran in Moscow - Revelations and mysticism may have been the stock-in-trade of Nikolai Tsvetkov’s management style, but ultimately they didn’t help him to hold on to his ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss