Official update given on repairs to Crimean Bridge
A pillar and a part of the rail track of the Crimean Bridge, which was damaged on Saturday in a terrorist attack, will need to be repaired, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said on Monday.
Speaking at a meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Khusnullin offered reassurances that the damage did not pose any safety risks to vehicles.
“As a result of the diagnostics, the need to eliminate damage to the expansion joint on one of the pillars was established. The preliminary deadline for repairing the damage to the pillar is the end of this week,” Khusnullin said.
Stating that about 150 people are now involved in the clean-up work, the deputy prime minister said that the asphalt on the damaged part of the motorway had already been removed. A schedule for dismantling the parts of the bridge that were damaged will be ready within three days, he added.
“By this time, additional labor resources, floating cranes and other necessary work equipment will be brought in,” he said.
Metal structures for the repairs will begin being delivered by the end of the week from the cities of Tyumen, Kurgan, and Voronezh, the deputy prime minister said, expressing gratitude to everyone involved for their “prompt work.”
As for the railway portion of the bridge, Khusnullin said that a preliminary assessment of the tracks had shown that two spans needed to be replaced.“The repairs do not affect the delivery of goods and passengers,” he emphasized.
The head of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, has estimated that fully restoring the bridge could take about two months.
The powerful blast rocked the bridge early Saturday morning, killing at least three people and causing a partial collapse of the road section and a blaze on a parallel railway span where seven fuel tanks caught fire. The explosion led to a temporary halt of both road and rail traffic, although both had resumed already by Saturday evening.
On Sunday, Russian officials claimed that the Crimean Bridge – the only one connecting the peninsula with mainland Russia – had been targeted by the Ukrainian security services. In response to what Russia has called a “terrorist act,” numerous airstrikes were carried out on Monday against critical Ukrainian infrastructure sites.
Kiev, meanwhile, has not claimed responsibility for the attack, despite the country’s top officials openly celebrating the deadly explosion.