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This Is Probably the Most Precarious Vehicle Bridge in the World

There are plenty of dangerous-looking vehicle bridges around the world, but few as adrenaline-inducing as Kuandinsky Bridge, in Russia’s Trans-Baikal Region.

Stretching 570 meters over the Vitim River, this precarious vehicle crossing is just over two meters wide and features no railing or other safety features to keep the cars from falling into the frozen water if anything should go wrong. Its decaying metallic structure is simply covered with old wooden railway sleepers that become very slippery when covered with ice and snow, which is almost all year round, since this is Siberia we’re talking about.

Photo: Sergey Dolya/Live Journal

Originally designed as a railway bridge, as part of the Baikal–Amur Mainline, a 4,324-km-long railway traversing Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far-East, Kuandinsky (a.k.a Kalarsky) Bridge was never inaugurated, so the people of Kuanda, a nearby village of around 1,500 inhabitants, started using it to cross the Vitim River.

Photo: Sergey Dolya/Live Journal

Because it’s not officially a functioning vehicle bridge, almost no repairs have been done to it in three decades since it was built. Time and brutal weather conditions have taken a heavy toll on the wooden sleepers, and they often break under the weight of large cars, leaving holes that drivers themselves have to plug or cover with planks in order to cross.

Photo: Sergey Dolya/Live Journal

Crossing Kuandinsky Bridge in late Spring and Summer is a big challenge, especially for large trucks, but it’s during the winter that it becomes truly scary. As if the reduced width, lack of railings and slippery wooden surface weren’t enough to put drivers on edge, the strong side winds really get their blood pumping. Even the most experienced drivers cross the bridge with all their windows down to prevent the wind from pushing the cars to a watery grave.

Photo: Razbushlat.ru

But despite the challenge it poses, or should I say, because of it, Kuandinky Bridge is more popular today than it has ever been, attracting daredevils from all around the region. Making it from one side to the other is considered an achievement bragging about, and a lot of the drivers record the experience and post it online as proof. Although the remote Kuanda village is slowly dying, as locals continue to move away in search of better prospects, the bridge looks like it will live on as a tourist attraction.

Photo: Sergey Dolya/Live Journal

Interestingly enough, according to Russian blogger Sergey Dolya, there is no online record of any accidents or fatalities linked to Kuandinsky Bridge, but he suspects that’s because of the limited number of drivers who dare cross it.

Photo: evg794/Live Journal

Photo: Sergey Dolya/Live Journal

 

Sources: Sergey DolyaRazbushlat, Chita

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