#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The Norilskaya river was a rather serious obstacle on the way of both the first travelers and the first builders. Before it was ‘ringed’ by the current stationary bridge, the right bank had to be reached by either boats in summer, or on ice in winter. In spring and autumn, that path became very risky and car drivers crossed the river without wearing their seatbelts and with the doors wide open.
For the first time, the banks of Norilskaya connected with a reliable crossing in 1963, when the first pontoon bridge, 425 meters long, was built. By the end of June the first five cargo Tatras had passed through 44 floating supports in Talnah.
The next spring, after the ice drift, the pontoons renewed the bridge: they repaired the old ones and added new ones.
In 1964, the ferry became wider, there were already 83 pontoons – thanks to this, the cargo traffic to Talnah under construction increased.
As a result, the pontoons worked for three summers in a row, while the stationary bridge was built over Norilka. On July 29, 1965, the first diesel locomotive passed through it, but the automobile part of the bridge still was assembled. During that period, both bridges existed in parallel. And a column of KrAZ trucks with the first Talnah ore, which was the main gift for the combine’s 30th anniversary, came to the Norilsk coast along the pontoon bridge.
For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive