On the night from April 11th to April 12th, 2012 the last block in the bridge connecting Vladivostok and Russky Island was installed. Now only a few months of routine work left: adjusting the tension of cables, lighting, paving. After its completion it will become the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world (with the span of 1104 meters).
Construction of this bridge is part of ambitious development plan of Russky Island seen as response to the growing Chinese economic power in the region.
Historical Moment in Pictures
Below are pictures showing the historical moments of the last block installment: transportation of the block by barge, lifting of the block to the gap in the bridge and its adjustment.
[All pictures are taken from here]
Does Russky Island Need the Longest Bridge?
But how was the news about the completion of this grand project met in Russia?
Here are reactions of Russian netizens (translated from this source).
chortos: After the summit it will be closed for completion. Forever.
[Note: This year Russia hosts the annual APEC meeting. It will take place in Vladivostok, on Russky Island]
vmel (replying to the comment above): There is a high probability that it will collapse even before the summit. Then we will listen to those who avidly praised the project and urged to spare no money on “innovations”…
kluk: About this island I only remember that sailors died there 20 years ago.
[Note: referring to the incident of 1994 in which 4 sailors stationed on Russky Island died of hunger and at least 86 more were hospitalized due to malnutrition because army could not organize food provision to the garrison on the island]
glman: And really, what is the need in it [the bridge]? Only as experience of large-scale engineering projects or as test of strength, can we or can we not… And meanwhile - this bridge is worth as much as the entire island.
orion5: Well, first of all there live people (although not a lot), and besides – how to develop the area (particularly near the border), if we think in “what is the need” way? As they say – build road in the open field and in ten years city will grow around it.
one_more_cat: Oh, those critics. Even in Wikipedia [ed: in Russian Wiki about the bridge] there is already a section “critique” with all the opposition nonsense. But I’m afraid that soon they will turn 180 degrees, as it often happens with them, and will scream about the bridge failure. They’ll say, ‘why the university is built for 50,000 students, and there are only two lanes in each direction?’
[Note: One of the development projects for Russky Island is to build there the major university of the region]
korapuz: Personally watching it almost every day, seeing all the stages, until today didn’t believe that it would happen. But there was hope. Justified.
ivan_laptev: My Rostov region has only 10% of devices needed for dialysis. Remaining patients with renal dysfunction are proposed to die. Cost of this bridge would provide the “artificial kidneys” for all regions of Russia + many other urgently needed items. People would live (and many would work) for many years.
Question: what does the country need – a bridge to an empty yet island (the project, which will pay out not very soon, if ever) or ”artificial kidneys”?
il_jeep (replying to the comment above): Unfortunately, in order to buy devices, it is necessary to have the stable money influx, little by little. Any infrastructure project, and in Russia particularly, for many decades brings revenues to the Treasury which by the way provide those 10% that already exist.
a_hramov: The question is – when will it become usable?
troechnik: Next step is bridge to Sakhalin?
andrey_levedev: Respect to Russian engineers (not everyone left!!!) And Far East residents are brave, honest and free people!
gimalaysky: Really, who needs it? Just to drive few times representatives of APEC?
awas1952 (replying to the comment above): They could be transported by boats. Many like such trips. And the bridge is needed for the Far Eastern Federal University: at its current location there is no space for development.
diabloforyou: No matter what the project’s cost is – it is cool!
avla: Island’s territory – 97.6 sq. km, length – about 18 km, width – about 13 km…
And to there [you build] the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world.
You are crazy.