The Russian government has decided to allocate 100 billion rubles ($1.5
billion) to building a highway connecting the capital of Crimea,
Simferopol, to the town of Kerch, the Slon news website reported Monday.
The highway, named Tavrida, is set to be opened by 2020.
“Last week, not without problems and debates, we found funds necessary to build the highway. The sum is significant – more than 100 billion rubles — and it requires special attention,” Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev said, Slon reported.
The highway project is not the only major infrastructure development in Crimea. The Kerch bridge, a 19-kilometer dual road-rail bridge to connect Crimea with Russia's Krasnodar region, is also underway in the region. The project, which is currently scheduled for completion in 2018, will ensure that the disputed peninsula is accessible by car and train directly from Russia. The bridge is set to cost a total of 212 billion rubles ($3.25 billion) and is hoped to ultimately join up to the Tavrida highway.
President Vladimir Putin visited the construction site in March this year, and promised to “hang” anyone responsible for the project's possible late completion.