Ferry service set up to bypass damaged Kerch Strait bridge in Crimea

   October 10, 2022 ,   Accidents

Russia's Ministry of Transport set up a ferry service across the Kerch Strait in order to take over vehicle traffic, offsetting the impact of the damage to the Crimean Bridge (aka Kerch Strait Bridge/between Kerch Crimea and Taman Russia) on October 8/Saturday morning.

Russian officials said that a truck had been blown up on the bridge's westbound road deck at ~6 am (3 am UTC) on Saturday. Two spans of the westbound deck had collapsed into the sea, but the adjacent eastbound deck had remained in place.  The blast's timing had coincided with the passage of a fuel train on the adjacent rail deck. Seven fuel tank cars ignited and burned for hours after the accident.

A Russian salvage diving team arrived on the scene and completed an underwater survey of the damage, according to Marat Khusnullin (Russia's Deputy Prime Minister). An above-water inspection process was underway. 

Traffic partially resumed on the bridge by late Saturday, but was restricted by the extent of the damage.

Russia's Ministry of Transport also resumed suburban commuter rail service over the rail track.

Two ferries are already in operation to provide a bypass route, and 8 separate parking lots were set up for temporary storage for cars/trucks waiting to make the crossing. 2 more ferries will join on Monday, October 10, Mriya and Yeysh. 

The ferries operate on a route, which provided the only cross-strait connection before the completion of the bridge in 2018-2019. It operates north of the Kerch Strait bridge, between Chushka Spit and Kerch, at the strait's narrowest part. The ferry service shut down in 2020 because the bridge siphoned off the traffic. 

According to state-owned outlet TASS, Russian security forces believed that Ukraine's special services had been responsible for the attack and they had had assistance from foreign nations/Russian citizens.