Russia to build another super bridge, this time from mainland to Sakhalin Island

Russia to build another mega bridge to Sakhalin Island in Far East

On April 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Sakhalin Island in the Far East needs to be connected to the Russian mainland by bridge.

Speaking with Sakhalin Region Governor Valery Limarenko, the head of state noted the importance of this issue.

"We need to connect Sakhalin with the mainland by a bridge. I am absolutely sure that development will take a different pace there. Let's get back to this topic and see," Putin said.

The construction of the bridge will cost about 300 billion rubles, Limarenko said. Another 300 billion will need to be spent to build all the related infrastructure. The construction of the bridge can be formalised through a concession agreement, but this way will not be suitable for bridge approaches as "they do not pay off” and will be considered as territory development works, the governor told Putin.

"I just wanted to say that approaches and interchanges there will cost more than the bridge itself,” the president said.

Is Sakhalin Bridge project viable?

In November 2020, Sergei Ivanov, the special presidential representative on environmental issues, ecology and transport, said that the Sakhalin bridge would be "wildly expensive.” The bridge needs to be built from a psychological, but not from an economic point of view, he believes. In addition, engineers will have to find the narrowest point of the strait for the bridge to be built. In order to reach this point, one would first need to overcome 536 kilometres "through the deserted taiga,” from the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Ivanov indicated. All this will cost more than the bridge itself, he added.

In 2021, Sakhalin governor said that the cost of the bridge, including access roads, was estimated at 600 billion rubles.

The idea to build a bridge from the Khabarovsk Territory to Sakhalin was first announced in the early 2000s. It was then proposed to build a railway to the Nevelskoy Strait, whereas the bridge itself was supposed to be both road and railway bridge. The cost of the project was estimated at 4.5 billion dollars, but it was not implemented. The issue of the mega-construction was raised again in 2018. The government was tasked with working on the idea. In 2020, the Kremlin reminded about the project again.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova
Editor Dmitry Sudakov