Cosmonaut shares epic PHOTOS of Crimea Bridge from space ahead of its opening

Cosmonaut shares epic PHOTOS of Crimea Bridge from space ahead of its opening
Europe’s longest bridge, connecting the Crimean Peninsula with mainland Russia, is set to open on May 5. Photos by Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov reveal the scale of the construction project as viewed from Earth’s orbit.

“I continue monitoring the construction [of the Crimea Bridge] from space. By the way, it’s going ahead of schedule. Traffic for cars and buses will be open already in May. Just in time for the holiday season,” Shkaplerov wrote on his Twitter page.

The International Space Station crew member has also shared photos of the Crimean Peninsula and the massive 19km bridge across the Kerch Straight. The pictures show all three stretches of the bridge. The first one, 7km in length, spans from the Taman Peninsula in Krasnodar Region to Tuzla Spit; the second, 6.5km long, goes across the Tuzla Island; and the third one, 5.5km long, from Tuzla Island to the Crimean Peninsula.

The construction of the bridge began in May 2015, just over a year after Crimea overwhelmingly voted to reunite with Russia in a referendum. The link is vital due to the peninsula only having a land border with Ukraine, and currently can only br reached from Russia by direct flights and ferries.

READ MORE: Final touches: Crimean bridge gets road marking before opening for traffic (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

The bridge will open for cars on May 5 – six months ahead of schedule. Trucks will be allowed to cross by the end of the year, with the railway section to become operational in December 2019. At maximum capacity, it will be able to accommodate up to 40,000 cars per day. The Russian authorities also expect the bridge to service at least 14 million railway passengers and allow transportation of at least 13 million tons of cargo every year.

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